Old man reading iPad tablet computerEarlier today, I stumbled upon yet another article about yet another e-reading study. True, that’s not exactly breaking news. But because the theory preposed by the market analyst firm that conducted the study was definitely one I’d never heard before, I figured it was worth sharing. Before I explain the study’s findings, though, let me say—and I’ve said this before in this space—that I don’t really have a whole lot of faith in most of these research firm. But then again, who knows? This one’s goofy enough—and simplistic enough—that there may just be something to it.

Here’s the bottom line of the study’s findings:

Sales of dedicated e-readers are not dropping precipitously because of competition from tablets. Instead, sales are dropping because only old people use e-readers—baby boomers, specifically—and old people are dying. (ROFL!)

Here’s the money quote from the story in question, which ran in PCR, a tech publication based in the UK.

“A study conducted by ABI Research found that most of the world’s e-reader sales were being made in the US market, where most of the people buying them were of ever increasing ages. The decline is sales, therefore, is due to mortality among the customer base.”

Wow. The best bit of the story is the final graph, which is where the author, PCR deputy editor Matt Grainger, manages to squeeze in a subtle little dig at the ABI brainiacs: “Unfortunately,” he writes, “the research doesn’t seem to examine whether or not a stable and simple device with a long battery life might naturally have a slower replacement cycle than a product with a contract life that acts as an incentive to upgrade, such as mobile devices.” (HA!)

All joking aside though, what do the rest of you think? Is this complete inanity? Or is it perhaps somewhat valid?

Also: I’m in the process of filing a media request with ABI Research to view a copy of the study in question. I’ll update this post tomorrow if I make any progress worth mentioning.