Tiss the season for everyone *but* Amazon to launch new hardware:
Large form factor Android Phones
While the "Special Offers" kindles will sell well, they are *nothing* to encourage a K2 owner to upgrade.
But we'll also see a tremendous amount of ereading on upcoming devices:
Amazon ereader tablets and phones (By Xmas?)
Other Android tablets (Sony, Asus, Acer, Dell, Motorola, Toshiba, Samsung, LG, HTC, Lenovo, etc.)
More large form factor smartphones
Heck, Microsoft might actually get in the game too (snicker)
Let’s not forget Sony is big in international ebooks. So while I haven’t heard of a new ereader from them, I expect them to update their product.
Devices equal ebook sales. :)
Link on ebook buying
““Power buyers,” who buy at least one e-book a week, represent about 18 percent of the total people buying e-books today, but they buy 61 percent of all e-books purchased.” As ebooks mature, more and more readers will not be ‘power buyers.’ Look at those numbers. In print, power buyers buy 70% of the books. It is less for ebooks; that strongly implies that ebooks are bringing in casual/convenience reader sales.
I know, by name, just over a dozen parents who ‘convenience read’ on their phones or tablets who otherwise would have dropped out of the book market. That is great! That is a few individuals who otherwise would have forgotten the ‘reading habit.’ Now they are instead utilizing tech to stay 'connected' with books. Once their kids grow up, they’ll probably drift back to being ‘power buyers’ of books instead of just being TV junkies.
If it seems like I'm being hard on Amazon, I am. Where is the new reader? Once a year product updates do not work in a fast growing market such as ebooks unless one expects to forfeit market share; as Amazon has certainly done. Certain customers have a strong preference for touchscreens; while I would want to see the K3 continue, Amazon must invest in new hardware.
My group of friends is defecting to the Nook Color or IPad for the kiddie ebooks. That means touchscreen, color, and sound. But here is the market opportunity for Amazon: these kiddie ebooks are locked onto one device and *no one* likes that. The Nook app does not play Nook color kiddie ebooks. (We tried.) Apple apps are locked onto iOS devices... If Amazon is clever and upgrades the Kindle app (when they release touchscreen) to be far more flexible, they'll take that market in under six months. For parents want mom and dad's cellphones, tablets, and computers to all play the book (as kids have zero understanding why the book isn't available).
The point of this article is to show that ebook growth is about to take off due to the excitement generated by new devices for ereading. In many ways, I'm most excited about large smartphones as those toys seem to be 'pulling back' readers into the habit thanks to 'convenience reading.' Tablets will help that trend too.