The Real Kindle Killer May Be the iPhone
Image via Flurry
We've seen a rash of me e-readers coming out lately, including one that claims to be a Kindle killer- Barnes & Noble's Nook. However, the iPhone just might be a device for Kindle to really keep an eye on as a competitor. In September, the number of book-related apps sold for iPhones outpaced games for the first time, indicating that the iPhone is gaining popularity as a convenient device for ebook reading. In fact, one out of every five new apps hitting the apps store was for ebook reading, reports Flurry, a San Francisco-based mobile application analytics company. It could mean that rather than turning to a Kindle - or one of the many other e-readers hitting the market - iPhone users will simply pic up the device they already have.
Flurry and GigaOm highlight why book apps outpacing games among iPhone users goes beyond just an interesting statistic, making the device a contender in the e-reader market, stating that when games apps sales rose in a similar fashion from August 2008 to August 2009, it impacted the Nintendo DS, with the iPhone becoming a handheld gaming platform that actually decrease profits for Nintendo.
The very same thing could be happening here for e-readers.
Flurry states: "The sharp rise in e-book activity on the iPhone indicates that Apple is positioned to take market share from the Amazon Kindle as it did from the Nintendo DS. Despite the smaller form factor of the display, we predict that the iPhone will be a significant player in the book category of the media and entertainment space. Further, with Apple working on a larger tablet form factor, running on the iPhone OS, we believe Jeff Bezos and team will face significant competition."
And what does that mean for green?
Fewer e-readers being manufactured, and more gadget consolidation. That is good news when it comes to reduction of e-waste.
On the other hand, there is a question of power consumption. Users reading books on their battery-power-hungry iPhone will likely use far more power in the long run than those using highly energy efficient Kindles and other e-readers.
The platforms are very different - Kindle and other e-readers' screens are larger and are lit in a way to be easier on the eyes. And of course not everyone owns an iPhone. But it looks like enough people do own an iPhone and are interested in using it as an e-book reading device that the growth rate of e-readers could be slowed.
More on e-Readers
Barnes & Noble Puts e-Books on iPhones, and Exclusive New Reader
Barnes & Noble Nook e-Reader is Out and Ready to Wallop Kindle
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LG Introduces Solar Powered e-Reader