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All Signs Point to Strong Holiday Season for eBook Readers
A recent Gadgetology study commissioned by Retrevo, a popular web site specializing in consumer electronics revealed an impressive number of respondents indicating they were planning on buying an eBook Reader this year. With a total of 21% of respondents answering, “yes,” the study further showed that slightly more males (1 in 4) than females (1 in 6) were potential eReader buyers.
Will you buy an e-Reader this year?


Percentage of respondents who are planning to buy an e-Reader this year (by gender).
Amazon vs. Sony
Despite the recent release of an attractive new, wireless-based eReader from Sony, prospective eBook Reader customers favored Amazon’s Kindle by a margin of 2:1 over a Sony Reader. The eReader market could start to get crowded with the recent announcement of a $399 IREX eReader to be sold at Best Buy stores and word of a low-priced color, dual page touchscreen, “EEE-book reader” from Asus.
Which e-Reader are you planning to buy?
Age is a Factor
Some age groups in the study had a higher propensity to buy an eBook Reader. The 25-35 year olds led other age groups with 40% of their peers indicating interest in buying an eReader. Next on the list was 35 – 45 year olds with 22%. The 45 and older age group had a much smaller (10%) number of respondents planning on buying an eBook Reader.
Percentage of respondents planning to buy an e-Reader this year (by age).
Location, Location and Income
Mid and high income households comprised the largest segment of potential eBook buyers with 33% of those with household incomes in the $100 – 200K range followed by 16% in the $50 – 100K range. The number of potential eReader customers also appears to be higher in the Northeast than the West. We suspect the fact that more people spend more time indoors in the Northeast could result in more interest in eBooks.
Percentage of respondents planning to buy an e-Reader this year (by Annual Household Income).
Percentage of respondents planning to buy an e-Reader this year (by geography).
More Popular Gift than MP3 Players
Although the Gadgetology study indicated there were many other categories of electronics like HDTVs, digital cameras, and netbooks were higher on everyone’s holiday wish list however, eBook Readers beat out MP3 players. MP3 players have not had a great year. Perhaps 2 -3 players per person is more than enough although we recently detected an uptick in demand after the September launch of some new iPods.
Where is the Apple Reader?
Retrevo’s Gadgetology study asked the panel about Apple in the context of eBook Readers and 9% of respondents said they are waiting for Apple to announce an eBook Reader. Meanwhile rumors persist about a 2010 launch of an Apple Tablet. While Retrevo feels that should an Apple Tablet appear it will most likely be perceived as a media and internet access device rather than an eBook reader and shouldn’t impact sales. Retrevo will be reporting on Apple Tablet findings from the Gadgetology report in the near future.
About the Gadgetology Report
The Retrevo Gadgetology Report is an ongoing study of people and electronics from the popular web site Retrevo.com. The data for this report came from a study of online users conducted by an independent panel. The sample size was 771 distributed across gender, age, income and location in the United States. The responses have a confidence interval of 2.8% at a 95% confidence level.
For more information contact:
Jennifer Jacobson
Director of Public Relations
jennifer@retrevo.com
 

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