According to a new Pew Internet survey, the number of people owning eBook readers and tablet computers doubled this past holiday, giving eBook publishers a reason to be optimistic about the future.
Of course, owning an eBook reader or tablet computer and enjoying it are two totally different things.
According to the Pew survey the number of people who owned a tablet or eBook reader went from 10% in the autumn to 19% after the holiday season. This is made even more significant by their report that ownership of these devices stayed static for most of the year, only rising in the last quarter.
This marked rise in eBook reader/tablet ownership is due in no small part to the increase in things that cane be done with them. There are now an abundance of tablet applications, meaning they are good for something other than watching movies or surfing the Internet. There are also more eBooks in circulation now than at any time before, with hundreds of new titles being added every day. Plus, the latest batch of eBook readers come with an assortment of features that make them more than just a book reader. The Nook Tablet and the Kindle Fire split the difference between traditional ereaders and tablet computers by offering a decent number of features common to both.
The fact that more people are buying these new gizmos is hardly shocking, even in this economy. If you're looking to upgrade your hardware, traditional laptops and desktop computers hardly seem worth the effort (and desk space) especially when WiFi signals are available just about everywhere and there is so much new content to enjoy.
For eBook publishers this is good news because although they are already turning a tidy profit, the influx of new users, hungry for eBooks will only add to their bottom line, giving them even more reason to release new books.