PriceGrabber just released the results of a survey of 1,631 American consumers. It's an interesting read, but I'm not sure how much it can be relied on.
I'm looking at the methodology now, and I'm not so sure that I trust the data. They sent out nearly 2m survey request, basically to anyone who had bought online from one of PriceGrabber's retail partners. Respondents were self selected. That last concerns me; I know that if I wanted to I could have put together a group to skew the results.
Here is the report summary:
- The eReader market is gaining share. 1 in 20 consumers own an eReader and one third plan to purchase an eReader in the next 12 months. The most popular electronic reading devices consumers plan to purchase in the next year are the Apple iPad (20%) and the Amazon Kindle (12%).
- The primary use of an Apple iPad has yet to be determined. The Apple iPad doesn’t have a significant image as an eReader, only 13% say they would primarily use it as an eReader. The remaining consumers would primarily use the Apple iPad as an additional mobile productivity device (20%), a replacement for a laptop or netbook (19%), an entertainment device (10%), or an educational/entertainment device for a child (3%).
- Touch-screens alone won't convince someone to buy an eReader. The touch-screen (45%) has to be combined with a portable size (39%), and availability of eBooks (37%) to win over consumers.
- Price is a deterrent for most consumers. 80% of consumers aren’t willing to pay more than $250 for an eReader; however, the average price of the top 10 eReaders on PriceGrabber.com is $241 and the lowest priced Kindle from Amazon is $260.
- Publishers fight for higher consumer prices for eBooks and win. Even though 59% of consumers wouldn't purchase an eBook for the same amount as a paper book, five of the six largest publishers —Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuster — succeeded in raising the consumer price of best-selling and newly released eBooks.
- The eBook vs. the paper book. 41% of consumers would miss aspects of reading paper books if they switched to reading eBooks on eReaders. The top three aspects consumers mentioned include: touch & feel (36%), portability (13%), and making notes (13%).