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SURVEY: Is the E-ink E-reader Dead in Developing Markets?

By Edward Nawotka

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Today’s feature story looks at the launch of Iba, a new e-reading platform in Brazil. At present the company is focusing its efforts on both tablets and PCs, bypassing the traditional e-reader. Increasingly, in the most advanced developing markets — Brazil and China, in particular — this pattern seems to be taking hold. Tablets and e-readers are increasingly closer in price, and in developing economies where users aren’t likely to own multiple devices, the limited functionality of an e-reader looks like a bad bargain in comparison with the tablet. Likewise, those who cannot afford a true tablet are likely to either delay their purchase of a device until and will continue to rely on what they already own, such as a PC or a phone, until prices come down further.

So tell us, with tablet prices crashing, is the e-ink reader dead in developing markets? Or is there still potential for it to hang on as a niche device for avid users who prefer the lower power consumption and black-and-white high contrast screen?

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  1. Posted March 15, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    When a new generation of e-readers with color display arrives in the market, its advantages will be more evident to people who reads books and magazines. The exprience of reading in a e-reader in far more better then reading in tablets.

  2. Marina Pastore
    Posted March 15, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    In Brazil, at least, most people prefer tablets because e-reader prices are so high – people don’t like paying US$1000 for an iPad, but they do; people can’t see the point on paying US$500 on a device that’s meant only for reading, so they don’t. If Amazon brings the Kindle at a reasonable price, I believe that might change, at least for heavy readers.

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