Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Is It a Kindle World? 28 Million EBook Readers Projected by 2013

We all know that a picture is worth 1,000 words, even in this economy. But are charts like these worth 28 million Kindles?

Thanks to David Rothman's heads up at
TeleRead, they come tied to a juicy tidbit of Kindle projection from a pretty credible source:

The well-respected and extremely popular Tech-On blog (Tech and Industry Analysis from Asia, based in Japan, with a current Alexa traffic rank of 1,007) has a cover story today projecting a worldwide installed base of 28.6 million Kindles and other ebook readers within four years:

A number of promising proposals are popping up in the eBook market, almost as if it remains unaffected by the worldwide economic downturn that began in the second half of 2008. For example, the quantity of eBook readers shipped by companies like and Sony has soared from the end of 2008 through 2009. And right in parallel with that growth has been significant growth in the scale of the eBook content market, also from the second half of 2008.

Growth forecasts for the eBook market are rosy, too. According to a recent report from survey company In-Stat of the US, total global shipments of dedicated eBook readers will hit 28.6 million units in 2013 (Fig 1b). Considering that 2008 shipments were only about one million units, this represents a 30-fold increase in only five years.

And here I will add a few juicy projections of my own:
  1. About 20% of those 28 million ebook readers will be Kindles.
  2. The 20 million other ebook readers will not spell problematic competition for the Kindle, because the vast majority of them, by the end of 2013, will come with Kindle apps or some other kind of key to the front doors of Kindle Stores in half a dozen of the world's most populous markets, er, nations.
  3. In addition to 28 million ebook readers, there will be at least twice that many other mobile devices (iPhones, iPod Touches, iPads, netbooks, Blackberries, and Swiss army knives?) running Kindle-compatibility apps.

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