Which E-readers Might Have the “Second Mover Advantage”?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

nook color

By Edward Nawotka

Today’s lead story looks at the success German retailers had selling e-books this past holiday season. At Thalia, Germany’s largest bookstore chain, their Oyo e-reader proved one of their most popular items of the season.

First is good, but second has it’s advantages, as proven by the increasing popularity of the NookColor.

Likewise, in the United States, Amazon has reported that the Kindle is now the fastest selling item ever. It looks like the future of e-readers tied to specific stores are doing well. Both Oyo and Kindle were among the first truly mass-market, customer-oriented devicesĀ (i.e. convenient ones tied to large inventories) to hit their respective markets. They have the true “first-mover” advantage — and yes, you can debate the semantics here, since there were several devices that pre-dated the Oyo and Kindle — but studies have proven that first is not always the best. Increasingly, theorists are touting the “second-mover advantage” (read moreĀ here) — and it may be these devices that represent the true future. The increasing popularity of the NookColor — voted, surprisingly, the people’s choice in the “Last Gadget Standing” competition at this year’s CES — may be one such example of this phenomenon. Are there others? Or does the fact that so many people have already purchased so many titles using Amazon’s and Thalia’s proprietary system mean they will remain loyal. Are buyers so-tied to their digital libraries that they are locked into a specific retailer . . . for life?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.