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kindle-most-wished-for-giftThe New York Times suggests that this is going to be the “tipping point” holiday season for e-book readers. Though Kindles have been hot Christmas gifts over the last couple of years, this is the first season that e-readers are going to be widely available for under $150 (and indeed, under $100 in some cases). This means, in turn, that a lot more e-books are going to be sold to read on those e-readers.

The NYT article has figures from various sources suggesting that over ten million e-book readers will be in circulation by the end of the year, that 1 in 5 Kindle owners received it as a gift, and 10% of adults plan to give an e-reader as a gift this year (up from 4% last year). And there are a lot more brands of cheap e-book reader available (especially in Black Friday sales).

However, there are so many e-book readers that the choices could prove confusing to consumers, notes Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey.

“The range of choices is actually going to be perplexing,” Mr. McQuivey said. “And when that happens, consumers go back to the tried-and-true brands that have trust and good word of mouth.”

(Found via eBookNewser.)

However, if e-book readers are going to be a popular holiday gift, it appears iPads may not be. Bloomberg reports that some analysts are predicting Apple may miss estimates of 6 million devices sold in the fourth quarter due to consumers cutting back spending or going with other devices instead.

“It’s a nice-to-have product, for those of us who don’t have a budget, but is it a must-have product? I don’t think so,” said New York-based [analyst Ashok] Kumar, who rates the shares “market outperform” and doesn’t own any.

Given that the cheapest iPad costs several times as much as most e-book readers (and, indeed, more than many laptops), it is certainly not surprising that fewer people will be giving them for Christmas.

Though the article does not suggest this, I suspect it is also possible that expectations of a new model of iPad to come out in March or April, incorporating improvements such as a FaceTime camera, may also be depressing sales figures for the iPad. I would certainly not advise people to buy one right now.

(Found via eBookNewser.)

 
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