ereader_future_demandWhen I cover stories about the iPad, I often receive a few reader complaints. But ever since it came out, I have considered the iPad to be an important element in the increasing popularity of e-books, despite the voices of those who complain they would never read on something that heavy or that glowy.

And an Ars Technica article posted yesterday (and the InvestorPlace article it cites) gives me feelings of vindication. According to a ChangeWave survey, the popularity of the Kindle is actually falling among e-book reader owners overall, while the iPad’s percentage of ownership among those who read e-books has doubled from 16% to 32% since August. The reason for this is undoubtedly the surge in ownership among the still-new-enough-to-be-neat iPad over the last few months, increasing the overall number of e-reader owners faster than the Kindle could keep up.

The study also indicated that a greater percentage of iPad owners than Kindle owners consider themselves “very satisfied” with the device. And though more Kindle owners than iPad owners said they read e-books with the devices, significantly more iPad than Kindle owners read newspapers, magazines, and blogs or news feeds with them.

As Ars notes, it seems the versatility of the iPad is enough to overcome its three-times-higher-than-the-Kindle price point. 42% of people looking to buy an e-book reader over the holidays plan to buy an iPad, while only 33% plan to buy a Kindle.


  1. this study bears itself out in my house, too. i’ve had my iPad since they were introduced, and i am completely happy with it. i read more on it all the time, and i use it for everything from RSS feed reading to cooking (with recipes i am amassing). my partner recently bought a Kindle, and while he likes almost everything about it, he’s extremely frustrated by it freezing (requiring a reboot), and also how tiny PDF files look on them. granted, we both know that the latter is really not the Kindle’s fault, but it’s still annoying to him, since he as a TON of documents for his job that are in PDF, and was hoping the zoom feature was a little more flexible. we’ll see how it plays out, but for now, he’s not a 100% solid Kindle fan.

  2. All this study really says is that the iPad is selling more units than dedicated e-readers. Not surprising…the iPad is a multi-purpose device that appeals to a wider number of people than the Kindle or the nook or the Sony.

    Once again, pollsters have tried to lump the iPad together with dedicated e-reader devices and then tried to make meaningful statistics out of the results. It just isn’t possible. The iPad is a computer that has a reading app. Comparing it to a dedicated e-reader is like trying to compare freezers with refrigerators that have freezer compartments and coming up with statistics that show that more people buy ref/freezers so the dedicated freezer is falling behind in the food storage business.

    When someone does a study comparing users of the iPad and its e-reader app with users of all the other tablet devices that have e-reader apps–THAT will be a meaningful study. Statistical comparisons of multi-purpose devices to dedicated devices– whether you’re talking e-readers or cold storage–are essentially meaningless.

  3. An interesting article, demonstrating imho why the iPad should always be included in surveys about eReading. It is ridiculous and quite silly to find reasons to exclude it. The Nook and the Kindle are also multi purpose devices with games and browsing now on them. The fact that the iPad is so successful and is driving so much eReading is hardly surprising because it is such a wonderful device for reading.

  4. Another attempt to pidgeon-hole the iPad using an apple and oranges comparison. They are different devices even if they have one function in common.

    I purchased an iPad because it meets my needs for a multi-purpose device, imperfect as it is. A Kindle might have been tempting a decade ago but the supposed wonders of eInk and Amazon ebooks just don’t do it for me right now.

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