Tuesday, July 29, 2008

E-book Sales Looking Good

I’ve become well attached to my Amazon Kindle and it looks like I’m not alone. Initially Amazon had problems getting displays from their supplier, resulting in some rather long delays between Kindle orders and deliveries. I waited about 6 weeks for mine to arrive after placing my order last January, which was a pretty typical wait back then. Delivery times have shorted significantly, it now looks like Amazon has a good supply of the displays, and the market will continue to grow for e-book readers like the Kindle.

According to an iSuppli study, e-book display shipments will increase at a 161% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the 2007-2012 period. iSuppli predicts sales will move from 150,000 units sold in 2007 to 18.3 million units in 2012. iSuppli also projects global e-book display revenue will grow from $3.5 million in 2007 to $291.2 million in 2012 indicating a CAGR revenue increase of 143%.

How’s the Kindle reader selling overall? The same iSuppli study predicts Amazon will sell 1 million units in 2008.

How is Kindle content selling? Here’s a quote from an article in the New York Times earlier this month:

According to a source at Amazon, "on a title-by-title basis, of the 130,000 titles available on Kindle and in physical form, Kindle sales now make up over 12% of sales for those titles."

The iSuppi study references key e-book markets that include education (textbooks, reading and reference material, electronic dictionaries and organizers), consumer markets (novels, magazines, guides and newspapers), professional segments (trade publications, manuals and product literature) and other areas (government documentation, military maps and religious books and material).

I see several advantages for the classroom including content search, the built in dictionary, the ability to highlight, bookmark, export pieces of content to text files and add the equivalent of margin notes. I also like the ability to move the equivalent of Word and PDF documents around electronically over Amazon Whispernet, which uses the Sprint EVDO wireless network.

ISuppli principal analyst for mobile displays Vinita Jakhanwal is quoted as follows:

It's possible that Amazon's Kindle could do for e-books what Apple's iPod did for MP3 players. Indeed, there are indications that Kindle sales in the first quarter of 2008 surpassed its total sales for the entire year of 2007.

I’m looking forward to hearing (and seeing) traditional academic publishers plans for electronic textbooks on devices like the Kindle and Sony Reader.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Errr... it wouldn't be surprising if sales in the first quarter exceed 2007 sales. It was launched in mid-Novemebr and immediately ran out of stock.