By Hannah Johnson
Simba Information estimates that 35% of iPad owners don’t use their iPads for reading e-books. In a press release, Michael Norris, senior trade book analyst at Simba Information said, “The fact that over a million iPad buyers haven’t used the gadget for e-books shows that not all new gadgets equate to a new e-reader.”
I don’t think any of us expected that 100% of iPad owners would read e-books. And isn’t it good news that 65% of iPad owners DO use their devices to read e-books?
By one estimate, Apple will have sold 12 million iPads by the end of 2010 (and an additional 43.7 million in 2011). If Simba’s report is accurate, that means 7.8 million people will be reading e-books on their iPads this year, and another 28.4 million in 2011.
Those numbers don’t seem so bad. To be fair, Simba also said, “Since we’re also only a few months into the iPad’s life, we can’t yet tell whether the group of iPad e-book readers is made up of folks who have just tried reading free e-books to check out the capability or have purchased 10 or more e-books.”
So we don’t yet know how many of this 35% of iPad e-book readers have actually paid for e-books, especially because Apple has not released any sales figures for the iBookstore. But the fact that iPad owners can buy and read e-books from the iBookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, (and whichever other e-book retailers decide to create an iPad app) means that more people are presented with the option.
The iPad might not be the savior of publishing (did anyone realistically think that?), but it is certainly a growing vehicle for reaching large numbers of people and potential readers.