According to a new report from the United Kingdom, 50% of readers tend to use their mobile phones books. This research is quite telling because e-reader and tablet sales are quite robust and have a high rate of availability in the retail sector.
Overall, 50% of UK mobile reading consumers used the Amazon Kindle app to read on their mobiles, followed by Apple iBooks with 31%. Reading platforms Kobo and Nook are in third and fourth places with 9% and 6% respectively. Among younger readers, iBooks is closing ground on Kindle. The study found that 41% of 18 – 24 year olds who use their mobile to read are using Kindle, versus 39% who are now using iBooks.
So how many people are actually reading eBooks on their mobile phones, outside of this report? Deloitte UK’s estimate that there are currently 35 million smartphone users in the UK. If we assume that 44% of these smartphone owners read just one eBook on their phone, that’s equivalent to 15,400,000. Then, if Nielsen is correct when it says that 323 million books (print and digital) were sold in the UK in 2013, that means 4.7% of the total UK book market’s total output was read on a smartphone.
Despite the mobile phone’s overall growth in appeal and popularity as a reading device, the survey discovered that readers, particularly those in the UK, tend to read on their handsets fairly infrequently and in much shorter bursts, compared to the amount of time they would spend reading printed books or eBooks on tablets and e-readers.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.