A new survey by Bowker Market Research and the Book Industry Study Group suggests that customers are increasingly turning to tablets rather than dedicated ereaders, and that this could hit the ebook business hard over the next few years. You can read the press release here.
The main finding of the research is that consumers seem to be moving away from dedicated ereaders and towards tablets with multiple functionality. In other words, if a tablet can be an ereader as well as so many other things, why would someone buy a separate ereader? The survey finds that consumers are making the switch in significant numbers.
Tablets do have many advantages over dedicated ereaders, but dedicated ereaders tend to use specific technology designed to make it less straining to read for long periods of time. While tablets are perfect for short-form reading, ereaders might still be better for those who want to read for many hours at a time. Different types of readers have different needs, and it’s probably a little premature to think that ereaders are on the way out just yet.