Ronnie05's Blog

The vanishing readers and Amazon kingship in Publication Industry

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on December 14, 2012

The EBook reader space is fading out rather precipitously.The rapid growth—followed by the immediate collapse—of the ebook market is virtually unheard of, even in the notoriously short life cycle of products inhabiting the volatile consumer electronics space.

Source: SAI Chart of the Day

In 2011, dedicated ebook readers saw shipments of 23.2 million units which dropped a whopping 36% to 14.9 million units in 2012, as reported by iHS iSuppli. Furthermore, the numbers are forecasted to drop by 27% in 2013, to 10.9 million units.By 2016, this number would have dropped to 7.1 million units less than 1/3rd of the 2011 volumes.


While these are just estimates, the trend is clear: dedicated ebook readers are going to die a quick death. After all, with tablets being able to do more than these one-trick ponies, it’s completely expected.

Yet, Amazon mopped up record number of EBook sales, in CyberMonday 2012.This is a counter-trend given the damning numbers reported by iHS iSuppli. Sure – the pricing starting from $69 for Kindle is a coup. But Amazon is able to deliver such numbers only basis the pricing subsidy enabled by the sales of Ebooks – Pure eco-system play. Thus what looks to me as happening in the next year or two is that Amazon will monopolize the EBook numbers which will be an extremely large bargain power for Amazon versus publishers. Amazon looks to be uniquely capable of becoming the “lord & master” of the book-publication industry – both in digitized and paper format.

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