E-Reader ownership has been on the decline in North America for the last two years. A recent study found that only 19% of adults reported owning an e-reader, such as a Kindle or Nook in 2015. This is a sizable drop from early 2014, when 32% of adults owned this type of device. The apathy displayed towards e-readers is not entirely a US problem, but has also extended into countries that traditionally have a high adoption rate.
The Netherlands was one of the first early adopter of e-books and people are drawn to the format. Booksellers who have an online presence have reported that e-books account for 24% of their sales.
A new report from Vergelijk.nl, one of the largest product and price comparison sites in the Netherlands says that overall interest in e-readers has decreased by 40% in 2015, tablet sales have also plummeted by 35%. Ben Kerkhof, one of the researchers of the report said “The tablet is currently still popular, but not as strong as a few years ago. It is quite conceivable that the smartphone, or an intersection (phablet) will take over the role of the tablet.
I think its true that people are buying less e-readers this year because the older models continue to work fine. Batteries in e-ink devices tend to last about five years before they they start to gradually degrade. E-paper technology has not changed since 2013, giving people less of a reason to buy the latest and greatest.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.