Forrester: New eReader Data Suggests Amazon Vulnerability

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:Report graphic

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...


re: Forrester: New eReader Data Suggests Amazon Vulnerability

Sarah, is this by the same analyst who predicted the Kindle would flop when it came out in 2007? That Amazon would be "lucky" to sell more than 50,000?

re: Forrester: New eReader Data Suggests Amazon Vulnerability

@Aaron Pressman: No, I wrote this report and my colleague, James McQuivey, wrote the 2007 report you're thinking of. We were definitely wrong on that call. Here's our explanation (from my May report, "How Big Is the eReader Opportunity?"):When Amazon released the first version of the Kindle in late 2007, Forrester underestimated how successful the device would be in the short term. Our core premise was correct: The primary adopters of the Kindle are gadget-loving frequent book buyers, a market that accounts for about 5 million US households. But we dismissed the power of the Kindle's innovation: We observed that it didn't revolutionize reading but merely made the act of acquiring books more convenient — but at a hefty $399 launch price that we felt was prohibitive. We were wrong: The convenience factor has outweighed the Kindle's price, making it easier for consumers to...

re: Forrester: New eReader Data Suggests Amazon Vulnerability

I accidentally saw Jeff Bezos (Pres. being interviewed by Charlie Rose on PBS in late 2007 when the Kindle was first announced -- this was the first I had heard of it. Before they finished talking, I had already sat down at my computer, and ordered one from Amazon. It arrived early Dec. 2007, and I have now over 700 books on it, mostly stored on my memory card of 16 GB. I have bought many of them through the Kindle book store, but have also found many of them for free from the various on-line sources of out-of-copyright books -- classics of the type which I love to read anyway, but which have long been out of print. I take my Kindle with me most places I go where I hope I may have spare time to read, and rarely buy print books anymore. I have also downloaded the active ones I am reading at the moment to my iPod Touch, which Kindle allows me to do for free, and I love reading from that device as well, especially in the dark of my bedroom when I wake up during the night, unable to sleep. These devices have met a very pressing personal need of mine, who as an avid reader since early childhood has read as constantly as I have been able to keep books with me. I see the future of such devices as very bright, despite many anti-diluvian nay-sayers who still are living in past centuries busily cutting down trees to make paper so they can hoard print books which they will never read again. I don't even want to hoard e-books, but want Google to establish a "cloud" library of every book ever in print which my replacement device can access -- keeping locally only enough text to support immediate needs necessary to reduce access cost to a minimum. I strongly support intellectual rights of authors and their e-publishers, and expect to pay their commissions and fees as I access their works, and expect their incomes to improve as their works will now never go out of print. In short, I feel that e-reading will greatly improve the general educational level of scholars and educated people, badly needed to enable our needs to be met going into a far greater technical future than we could ever have dreamed of prior to the access of everyone to works which could never have become available in any other media.

re: Forrester: New eReader Data Suggests Amazon Vulnerability

The graph and research of the Kindal somehow did not make Amazon's results any better. I am wondering if maybe it's because there is not enough with the Administration to build on linking to further bridge the users on a world wide scale. I have visited the site just to see if anyone has made any sales or offers that customers are eager to want to have. I also learned that we did have a major downfall in our economy but we are now seeing a little bit of improvements. Sometimes in order to make a sale as best to offer anyone, by lowing our prices on the Kindal might make shoppers think and want to at least own and try one out. There is also competition out there on the new mini notebooks that are coming out and I have noticed that they are hot sellers too. Just wait a bit longer and the notebooks will continue to have prices slashed to half. I agree with some of the customers, if the results and studies are not showing the interest of the general public. More focus on surveying people should be clearly defined so we can help Amazon, increase visitors to their sites.