The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tough Year Ahead for E-Reading

2013 wasn’t a great year for e-readers. Sales of the devices continued to decline and a study released in December found that 60% of the consumers who downloaded e-books never read them. Michael Kozlowski, editor of the blog goodereader.com, is predicting more of the same in 2014.

First, E Ink will start moving away from e-reader technology. The e-reader business has been losing ground to tablet technology for more than a year and Kozlowski wrote that expansion into the digital signage market will be its next move.

The E Ink shift away from e-reader technology may be helped along if Kozlowski is right about Barnes and Noble. He predicted that since B&N makes more money on digital content sales, it will decide to give up on the Nook. He also expects Sony to give up on its e-reading devices to focus more on tablet and multimedia-based experiences.

He also predicted declines in both reading on tablet devices and e-books in general.

Reading on tablets will decline because manufacturers will move away from producing as many tablets in favor of more smartphones in 2014, which should produce more smartphone readers. Or maybe, with e-book sales flat or in decline throughout 2013, people will just head back to hardcover and paperback books.

“With the way things have gone in 2013 in the e-reader and tablet sector, some people may be optimistic about the future,” Kozlowski wrote. “I, for one, am not.”

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