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 CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.