Consumer Interest In E-Readers Mixed

    August 7, 2009

E-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle have sparked interest among consumers but have not yet reached mainstream adoption, according to a new report from the NPD Group.

Some 37 percent of consumers expressed interest in purchasing an e-reader, but more than 40 percent said they were "somewhat uninterested" or "not interested at all." When asked why, nearly 70 percent said it’s because they prefer the feel of an actual book.

Ross Rubin
Ross Rubin

Among the 37 percent who said they were "very interested" or "somewhat interested" in purchasing an e-reader some of the most appealing features to them were ones that already exist in the two most popular models. The report found more than half of consumers were interested in wireless capability, which is offered in the Amazon Kindle as well as the touch-screen feature on the Sony Reader.

One of the main reasons people said they were interested in e-readers was the ability to buy and store multiple books, magazines, and newspapers. Among the other top reasons was the convenience of downloading books from the Internet rather than purchasing them at the store, and the ease of carrying an e-reader compare to a book, newspaper or magazine.

"Today’s e-reader offerings are delivering capabilities that are in demand by consumers," said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at NPD

"However, some features that could enhance the appeal of more popular content, such as color, remain on the drawing board. Consumers may overlook their attachment to a book’s tactile attributes, particularly for reading materials where timeliness and convenience takes precedence over leisure," said Rubin.