By Edward Nawotka
Today’s feature story looks at the slow but steady growth of the Brazilian e-book market. In Brazil an entry level iPad will run you $1,000. A latest generation e-ink reader, such as the iRiver Story, which is available at Livraria Cultura, will run you more than $500. These prices are consistent across Latin America and, as a result, the e-book market has been slow to grow.
In Asia, and China in particular, the situation in somewhat different, as Chinese manufacturers rush to market with inexpensive devices. An e-ink Bambook, for example, will only run you about $89, and the market is booming.
And, as we all know, it took the introduction of the Kindle in the US — at a not insignificant price point of US$400 — to launch the e-book gold rush.
To what extent is the e-book market in a developing nation dependent on affordable e-readers? Some will argue that cell phones will suffice, but does the market bear this out? Are publishers, ultimately, unwilling to convert books to a cell-phone friendly formats due to some psychological barrier which suggest that the content itself is diminished in some way — and the price point needs to be pushed down with it?
Let us know what you think in the comments.