This blogger has been saying since 2013 that smartphones and tablets would drive consumer ebook sales, a trend that the WSJ confirmed earlier this year.
And now we learn that consumers aren’t just shifting their reading habits; they’re leaving ereaders behind. The Pew Research Center has a new report on device ownership in the US out today which tells us that ereader adoption hasn’t just leveled off; it’s cratering.
The survey found only 19% of respondents owned an ereader, down from 32% last year. Game console, PC, and mp3 player ownership also dropped, although not to the same degree.
Looking at ereading devices, we can see in the above chart that tablet ownership continues to grow slightly as it catches up to smartphone ownership. With 68% of respondents owning a smartphone, that category continues to outpace the adoption rate of any other mobile device, which makes sense given that smartphones (and to a lesser degree, tablets) have replaced your mp3 player, camera, and gaming device, and for some people serve as their primary source of web access.
This is especially true for younger adults, who are more likely to have a smartphone than a computer:
With 86% of this age group owning a smartphone, that category has effectively reach the saturation point and it won’t grow much further. But overall smartphone adoption will continue to grow as this age group grows older.
And from the looks of things, so will tablet adoption. eReaders, on the other hand, are yesterday’s news.
You can find the complete report, including data which breaks down along income, education, and gender lines, on the Pew Research Center website.
image by miniyo73