STATES CHRONICLE – The e-book reader was a very high fashion trend and a wonderful replacement for books, but a new study shows that many more people now own smartphones than e-book readers. So why are e-book readers dying out?
Evidently, almost everybody nowadays has a phone. Every single person in your life, including your 80 year old grandma who can barely hear anymore and your 4 year old cousin who has just learnt to speak. That’s no surprise and definitely no news, being visible with the naked eye.
What would be interesting, though, is to see whatever happened to the rest of the gadgets the technological boom in the last years spurred on us. For example, the e-book reader.
The first e-book reader appeared in 1998 and it was The Softbook and Gemstar’s Rocket ebook reader. Soon after that, in the year 2000, Stephen King’s novel Ride the Bullet was released only as an ebook, at least at first. The trend was thought to die out soon, because people didn’t seem so interested in their books being digitalized and so Gemstar closed its doors quickly, in 2003.
But the rebirth of the ebook happened in 2007, when Amazon released the first Kindle, all of them selling out in the first five and a half hours. Many people bought them and it was a huge trend. It was even fashionable to own a Kindle and read electronic books, apart from the fact that it was a lot easier and cheaper to do so.
But today, in 2015, just eight years later, things could not be more different. Sales in ebook readers have dropped significantly. According to this new study by the Pew Research Center, at the moment, only 19 per cent of American adults own any kind of ebook reader, a big drop from, let’s say last year’s 32 per cent. Why is that?
The main reason are smartphones. Our phones are simply so smart right now and allow us to do so many things, including viewing and reading books on them, that we just don’t need to carry around another electronic device just for that. The display quality is good with smartphones, maybe even better than ebook readers, their processors are getting stronger and stronger, meaning we can now read books as big as we want and with pictures in them, because our phones can render them. Also, our phones’ display is getting bigger and bigger with every release, slowly turning them into veritable little tablets.
There is just no more need for an ebook reader. The study shows that 68 percent of all adult Americans now own a smart phone.
The other reason ebook readers are slowly dying is the fact that, apart from smartphones, tablets are also on the rise. Thanks to special book reading apps, you can easily read an ebook on your tablet, making the ebook reader again, obsolete. 45 percent of American adults have a tablet today.
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