Kindle claims 45% of eReader market, Sony claims 30%
Now we have market share numbers that were published yesterday by iSupply showing that the Kindle might not be so far out of reach as once thought. While Amazon does control the largest percentage of the eReader market at 45%, Sony is nipping at its heals with a healthy 30%. And with Sony’s announcement last week of their new Reader models (including the now cheapest Reader on the market at $200) they may be increasing that percentage come December. Especially impressive is Sony’s Daily Edition Reader that will cost $100 more than the Kindle 2, but is cheaper and larger than the Kindle DX. It also has a 7″ touchscreen, 3G connectivity, support for the EPUB digital book format and the ability to download free content after brokering a deal with Google. And it will be sold in over 9,000 retail stores — a potential huge blow to the online-only availability of the Kindles.
But what about the other 25% of the market? That seems the be the large question especially with this week’s news on the Asus EeeBook and the iRiver Story (both of which are set to come out before the end of the year). When you also throw into the Plastic Logic business reader (to be launched in the beginning of 2010 with the partnership of Barnes & Noble) into the mix the market percentages grow even smaller. Can an eReader survive by only capturing 5% or 10% of the market? Analysts project the current eReader market could grow from 2008′s 1 million units to between 18 and 30 million units by 2013. If so, then there’s plenty of market to allow these readers to compete.
However, we think that the analysts aren’t paying attention to the soon to be explosive tablet market. As we’ve mentioned before, who would buy a $400 eReader tablet when they could get a $400 internet tablet with eReader support? The tablet market could cut the eReaders market sharply leaving only the big dogs to fight over the scraps.