There's an editorial over on Futurebook about a recent market survey in the UK. Tom Tivnan thinks that the dedicated ereader is a goner, and I disagree. Here's the key quote:
In this year's Reading the Future, The Bookseller's third annual survey of UK consumer reading habits, we had an increased focus on digital.
More worrying, is that a combined 70% said they would 'definitely not' (32.3%) or were 'unlikely' to (36.8%) to buy any sort of ereader in the coming year. Our survey, it should be noted, was conducted online and repsondents had to be book readers. So we're talking about bookish folk, and not the Luddite end of the market.
The bottom line is that ereaders are still not appealing to the vast majority of the reading public. And never mind appealing, they have never heard of the freaking things. The things they have heard of are machines most people use every day: the Blackberry (73%), the iPhone (73%), even the Nintendo DS (74%). It should not go unnoticed that all these devices' primary function is not book reading. And the driver for the iPad for most customers, as sexy and appealing it is for books, will not be because of the iBookstore, it is its multi-functionality.
I think he's jumping to conclusions. Most of the leading ereader companies are pleased with their success in today's market. They think they can afford to continue to develop new ereaders because current sales are good. Now, if they're successful even though they toil in obscurity, then how can that obscurity be a killer?