The head of South Korea’s second largest online bookstore was interviewed in yesterday’s Korea Herald. From the article:
Lee Seung-hoon, president of Interpark Corp., offered a conservative outlook for the ereader market, saying the new device will carve only a niche market in Korea.
The management consultant-turned-president said the e-book market will only cater to the needs of the reading population, which is small in Korea.
“There will be a market for ereaders. … But the market will not be that big. It will be quite small in Korea,” he said in an interview with The Korea Herald and its sister newspaper Herald Business.
Enthusiasm about the ereader market, fueled by the much-talked about iPad tablet PC, has pushed up shares of book distributors, publishers and other content firms.
We should note that he is making a statement about South Korea, not the world. I point that out because one of the differences between SK and Europe (or USA) is that the consumer electronics market is incredibly competitive in South Korea. Take any category of CE, and where in Europe you might have 10 devices to choose from, in South Korea you have 40. Market dominance like that of the Kindle or iPhone just can’t happen in South Korea.