Will textbooks be the biggest e-reader market in five years?

image So predicts Sarah Epps at Forrester Research. I have mixed feelings about this. Given a choice of only one portable device for students, I’d rather they get netbooks (or larger laptops) that could double as tablets.

Hey, we want students to write, too, and beyond that, the current E Ink readers can be disasters for people with disabilities, as Robert Kingett (photo) will tell you. Let’s hope that changes.

In the same Bloomberg piece quoting Epps, Corning says textbooks will be eighty percent of the market for its screen-related market products by 2019.

Hello, Robert Darnton and others? Do we really want the ed-related market for content and hardware to be developed in a a helter-skelter fashion? TeleRead, anyone?

Current shares of the dedicated e-reader market: 60 percent Kindle, 35 percent Sony, according to Forrester.

More numbers: Forrester expects dedicated e-reader sales to reach six million units next year, double the present number. Color screens, expected for E Ink in time, could help tremendously, as I see it. So could the versatile Pixel Qi technology, which has both a color and e-reading mode.

Related: Sony Readers are replacing paper textbooks at Toronto high school: Why I’m thrilled as a teacher, an informative post by Ficbot.

2 Comments on Will textbooks be the biggest e-reader market in five years?

  1. I think the mistake most of these recent initiatives are making is trying to tie textbooks to a particular reader. Creating a textbook in a universal format, like OEB (ePub), open for people with any technology they prefer to use, is the future.

    In the short term, however, it probably won’t make much difference if text makers tie their products to, say, Sony readers: Texts and students are constantly changing, and if (when) they decide to migrate to a common format, the transition probably won’t be that difficult. And in the meantime, they can break people into the idea of digital texts.

  2. In any case, eReaders will be the biggest eReader market…

    By 2019, we might be at the point where eBooks outsell pBooks.
    Today, textbooks are already the most significant source of revenue in the pBook market. This is unlikely to change.

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