E-readers, tablet computers set to take off: BCG survey

May 18, 2010
The new iPad is displayed at an Apple store. Consumers worlwide are very interested in tablet computers like Apple's iPad and electronic readers such as Amazon's Kindle, and sales of the devices could take off when prices drop, according to a new survey.

Consumers worlwide are very interested in tablet computers like Apple's iPad and electronic readers such as Amazon's Kindle, and sales of the devices could take off when prices drop, according to a new survey.

"I think we're already at the starting point of mass adoption," said John Rose of The Boston Consulting Group, which conducted the survey of nearly 13,000 consumers in 14 countries.

"A million iPads in a month is a lot," Rose told AFP on Monday, refering to Apple's first month sales figures for the touchscreen device. Other companies such as Sony, Samsung and were expected to come out with similar products, he added.

Fifty-one percent of consumers surveyed who were familar with e-readers or tablet computers said they planned to purchase one within a year and 73 percent said they planned to buy one within three years.

"The survey suggests that e-readers and tablets are not a niche product for early adopters but could become the of this decade," Rose said separately in a press release. "Grandmothers will soon be carrying them around."

The survey revealed prices will have to drop before e-readers and tablets become established consumer products alongside television sets, personal computers and mobile phones.

"As with other major mass market consumer devices the prices will come down," Rose told AFP. "They always do.

"I expect you'll see the prices come down in the next 12 to 18 months," he said. "The first iPod was a 400-dollar device so there's no reason why we won't see the same cycle."

US consumers said they were prepared to pay between 100 and 150 dollars for a single-usage device like the Kindle or 130 to 200 dollars for a multi-purpose device like the , which can serve as an e-reader but also browse the Web or play video.

The Kindle, which was launched in 2007, costs 259 dollars while the iPad, which came out in the last month, costs between 499 dollars and 829 dollars.

The survey found most consumers would prefer a multi-purpose device. Sixty-six percent said they preferred a multi-purpose device while 24 percent said they wanted a single-purpose device for reading electronic books. The remainder were undecided.

"Consumers want to use these devices for a broad range of things, including Web surfing and email," Rose said. "These are easy and portable devices that'll make it easy to do such things."

In the United States, consumers are willing to pay between five and 10 dollars for digital books, five to 10 dollars for a monthly newspaper subscription and between two and four dollars for a single issue of an online magazine.

The BCG survey was conducted in March of 12,717 in Australia, Austria, Britain, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Spain and the United States.

Explore further: FIXD tells car drivers via smartphone what is wrong

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Apple: iPad on sale internationally from May 28

May 07, 2010

Apple announced Friday that its mass market iPad touchscreen portable tablet computer will go on sale outside the United States in nine major countries for the first time on May 28.

Rivals moving to take on iPad

Apr 23, 2010

US bookstore giant Barnes & Noble added Web surfing and games to its electronic reader Friday as rivals move to break the momentum of Apple's freshly launched iPad tablet computer.

Over 300,000 iPads sold on first day: Apple

Apr 05, 2010

Apple said Monday it sold more than 300,000 iPads in the United States on its first day of availability, a figure in line with predictions of some analysts but fewer than others expected.

Amazon strikes twin electronic book deals: WSJ

Apr 01, 2010

Amazon.com is letting two more major publishers raise prices of electronic books for Kindle readers in deals struck just days before Apple releases rival iPad computer tablets, the Wall Street Journal reported.

New Barnes & Noble multi-format e-books dog Amazon

Jul 20, 2009

(AP) -- Barnes & Noble Inc. on Monday stepped up its fight in the small but highly competitive market for electronic books with the launch of a new e-bookstore offering titles to be read on a variety of devices.

Recommended for you

FIXD tells car drivers via smartphone what is wrong

15 hours ago

A key source of anxiety while driving solo, when even a bothersome back-seat driver's comments would have made you listen: the "check engine" light is on but you do not feel, smell or see anything wrong. ...

User comments : 0