Today we launched a new report, "Forrester's eReader Holiday Outlook 2009" (full version available to Forrester clients here), which updates our projections for eReader sales in 2009 and 2010. The data in this report comes from Forrester's consumer surveys as well as interviews with vendors and retailers.
E Ink recently announced that its 2009 revenues to date were up 250%, and were exceeding its earlier expectations. We, too, are observing the eReader market growing faster than we had expected: We published a report in May, "How Big Is The eReader Opportunity?", that pegged 2009 US eReader sales at 2 million. Our new report ups that projection by 50% to 3 million for 2009, with 30% of 2009 sales occuring in the holiday season of November and December.
There are a number of reasons why eReader sales are growing faster than we had expected, which we detail in the report, including falling device prices, more content availability, better retail distribution, and lots and lots of media buzz.
All these dynamics will compound to fuel more growth next year, and we expect more changes in the market that could push eReader sales beyond 6 million in 2010, bringing cumulative US sales to 10 million by year-end 2010. To get our full perspective on what will happen next year, you'll have to read the report, but here are a few highlights. In 2010, we'll see:
A new Forrester report on the eReader market just went live (clients can access the full version here).
In brief: We surveyed 4,706 US consumers in an online survey to find out what value they place on eReader devices. We used a Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Meter methodology to ask consumers four open-ended questions:
At what price would you consider an electronic book device/eBook reader a bargain?
At what price would you consider an electronic book device/eBook reader expensive but still purchase it?
What price would be so inexpensive that you would question the quality of an electronic book device/eBook reader?
What price would be so expensive that you would not consider buying an electronic book device/eBook reader?
We plot all the data and to find the optimal price range for different segments of consumers--what price you'd have to charge for the device to get the maximum number of consumers buying an eReader.
What we found was that the price points for how most consumers value eReaders is shockingly low--for most segments, between $50 and $99. (Currently, eReaders in the US are priced between $199 for the Sony Pocket Reader and $489 for the Kindle DX.)
Here you can see the breakdown for how different segments of consumers answered the question, "At what price would you consider an electronic book device/eBook reader expensive but still purchase it?":
A new report from the Cleantech Group (available for purchase or to Cleantech clients) takes on a big question: Are the Kindle and other eReaders really "green"?
In Forrester's surveys, we've found that of US online adults who are interested in eReaders, 51% say they're interested because they think that eReaders are "better for the environment." But I've often wondered if consumers just believe that eReaders are green, or if they really are.
Just a quick note to say that we've got a new report up on the changing demographics of eReader buyers: "Who Will Buy An eReader?," available in full to Forrester clients.
First, eReader interest and awareness is definitely growing, as you can see:
Second, the types of consumers likely to buy an eReader are changing. While early adopters of eReaders were a perfect storm of demographics for Amazon (they could afford the device, they have a need for the device in business travel and urban commuting, they like technology, and they buy lots of books online), future prospects for the devices look completely different. They're more likely to be female, less tech optimistic, and they read a lot (on average, 5 books per month) but they buy and borrow books from multiple sources, as opposed to buying lots of books online.
The big takeaway is that this could spell trouble for Amazon, if competitors can move in to better serve the later waves of adopters who don't have as strong a relationship with the eCommerce giant.
I've heard from clients that they're already seeing this shift--more women buying the devices and shopping for eBooks. Looking forward to continuing the discussion...
Amazon dropped the price of the Kindle 2 today from $359 to $299. Are we surprised? No. It's predictable that prices decrease for consumer electronics as manufacturing volume scales up (just ask those poor saps who paid $499 for a 4GB iPhone in 2007). But there's also some pricing pressure specific to the eReader category that Amazon is responding to. In particular: