InStat prediction that Tablets to Overtake e-Readers is off base

This morning Tuesday June 21st 2011AD, I awoke to a InStat statistical survey that had me confused initially and then annoyed beyond belief. InStat, a Statistical analyst, is proclaiming death to the e-Reader in 2012AD. Say what! Straight to my writing pad, with grist for the mill and an article to draft longhand!

InStat’s Stats (no pun intended), is based on its one thousand (1,000) participant strong survey are as follows:

  1. 38% own a Tablet
  2. 26% own an e-Reader.
  3. 15% of Tablets will be for Corporate and Enterprise (think HP TouchPad and Windows 8 Tablets)
  4. 60% of future Tablet purchasers want Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) and 3G connectivity

Nothing here surprising or out-of-place to write home about!! Ok, calm. Sky is blue, earth is green! On the global shipment side of the coin, InStat’ projections go out on a limb, however:

  1. Tablet shipments will outpace e-Reader shipments.
  2. Global e-Reader shipments will hit forty million (40,000,000) by 2015AD driven by falling prices
  3. Semiconductor supplies for Tablet makers will reach $13.8 billion in 2015AD.
  4. Semiconductor supplies for e-Reader makers will reach $1.6 billion in 2015.AD

Good to point out that Apple iPad shipments are projected to reach twenty eight million (28,000,000) units worldwide by December 2011AD.  This number may swell to fifty two million (52,000,000) if plans for a CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) Apple iPad’s for Telecom Provider Verizon are true as stated in my article “Are we witnessing Laptop and PC Extinction?”. So InStat is saying that e-Readers are on par with the Apple iPad. Apple Fanboys no need to get worried so chill-lax; it’s just stats!

Not even 2015AD, the predicted date of supremacy for Android OS on smartphones and Microsoft + Nokia demise and the silent ascendancy of WebOS?

Really InStat?

This as interpreted from the analytical statistics of ComScore, Gartner, IDC and Nielsen, the big Four (4) in statistical analysis of everything Silicon Valley. Words escape me to explain these last bizarre set of statistics, especially the projected shipment data, as this had me floored!

So, like a good Correspondent, I hand you over to InStat’s Senior Analyst Stephanie Ethier, quote: “Of the two, the Tablet market is the stronger and more sustainable opportunity. In fact, e-Reader manufacturers will soon begin adding Tablet-like devices to their lineups in order to take advantage of the Tablet frenzy.  Barnes & Noble already offers the Color Nook, which is often compared to a Tablet, and Amazon, the leader in the e-Reader space with its Kindle, will likely launch a Tablet device later this year in an effort to compete head-to-head with the iPad.”

This relatively “new” kid on the block, InStat, which I have used before but not often, has made an assertion, which on the surface of it, make sense.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Color does indeed exist as stated in fellow blogger Kelroy’s article entitled Barnes & Noble’s new Android powered Nook Color, is now effectively a Tablet.

It even has a Google Android Apps Store and supports Native Adobe Flash Applications as of April 24th 2011AD. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but that’s an Android Tablet, despite the e-Reader label.

Further expanding this singular example, the Barnes and Noble Nook Color has its highest readership among women, with supporting stats coming from Forrester Research, pointing out that (like duh-uh!) more women do read than men:

  1. 56% of Tablet owners are male
  2. 55% of e-Reader owners are female

The Apple iPad is more of a boy-toy, with its 10” dimensions, Video Calling capabilities and excellent screen quality and battery life as my article Apple iPad 2 – Dual-Core Easy Skankin’ describes.

Great for reading PlayBoy Magazines too: a veritable certified boy-toy!

The Barnes and Noble Nook is made with viewing colour magazines in mind, a readership audience mainly made up of females who read Cosmopolitan, Oprah’s magazine O and Home and Garden as evidenced from Barnes and Nobles advertisements of the Color Nook in those magazines.

Amazon too, is rumoured to be going the Android route with an Ecosystem of Tablets and smartphones as stated in Kelroy’s article entitled Amazon to give birth to family of Android devices?.

But unlike Barnes and Noble’s boldly declared love for Android, Amazon has only kitted out a rather poorly stocked Android App Store. So this may just be wishful thinking at best on the part of  the Technology News hounds or just be the initial wafting scent of vaporware, like the Nintendo Wii U Controller.

Still, Android is planning to become the King of the Electronics World from your Refrigerator to Tablets as my article Apple’s Revolution: Android @ Home and IceCream Sandwich in 2015AD.

So InStat may be on to something here. The e-Reader makers may make a push for the Tablet market.

But death of the e-Reader? Absolutely not!!

I agree, more people have an e-Reader than a Tablet, as there are more women in the US of A in the World than they are men, whether or not they own a e-Reader. Even Regina Beavers, CVM TV Producer and Media Personality and former Miss Jamaica world 2001AD has an e-Reader.

Regina Beavers,  sassy former beauty queen with a penchant for red accessories who co-hosts the hit morning time show CVM at Sunrise on CVM TV revealed in the Style Observer, a Social Column in the Jamaica Observer published Sunday, May 15th, 2011AD, that she does indeed tote about a Amazon Kindle in her handbag.

To “kill time or do research on the go” and “download books and articles”, says Regina Beavers, of this gift from her brother.

So with female dominance in terms of population numbers in the USA, the Apple iPad and other Tablets, which are decidedly a male-centric device, will not be overtaking the e-Reader anytime soon. Not unless male start reading glossy magazines about gardening and makeup (oh the horror of pink!).

If anything, the recent price drops by the Amazon Kindle, which can be had for US$114 so long as you can tolerate advertising and the attraction of ready glossy magazines on the Barnes and Noble Nook will keep the females fans of the Barnes and Noble e-Reader hooked for a long while to come.

Ditto too cash-strapped college students who can afford an Amazon Kindle or Barnes and Noble Nook and like everything free. They may be behind the recent spike in e-book piracy as noted in my article Piracy and E-Books in a Tale of Two Cities who also buoy the e-Reader sales numbers along.

They, Tablet and e-Reader, will coexist in 2012AD. Guaranteed!

I will even go out on a limb to state that with glossy magazine sponsorship of the Barnes and Noble Nook, as is the case with the Amazon Kindle fueled by e-book piracy among Millenials [ages 18 to 28] who cannot afford full blown Tablet, the e-Reader may actually overtake the Tablet and establish its own majority, side by side with the Tablet in 2012AD.

Folks, it’s real simple.

The Tablet is a male centric multimedia device Platform. The e-Reader is a female-centric reading device Platform.

Tablets are a nascent Technology when compared to the more established e-Readers such as the Amazon Kindle and its following of e-Readers. The Apple iPad ‘s explosion onto the computer scene in 2010AD is now currently having a profound ELE (Extinction Level Event) on Netbooks and Laptops as my article “Are we witnessing Laptop and PC Extinction?” asserts.

Current Tablets are based on the current Technology that is backlit LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) and AMOLED (Amorphous Organic Light Emitting Diode), which is not great for reading, as it hurts the eyes and cannot be read in direct sunlight.

Which have had to take on the skin of the Apple MacBook Air to survive the more dominant species, the Apple iPad, in the form of Google ChromeBooks and now Intel’s UltraBooks specification.

Gender, Pricing, Piracy and the vagaries of Technology will keep these two (2) platforms separate for quite some time, as opposed to the early death as InStat’s Stats prognosticates as the ultimate future of the e-Reader .

Reader, what do you think?


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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.