updated 03:15 pm EDT, Fri August 6, 2010
Kindle Store still well ahead of iBookstore
Amazon still has a comfortable lead over Apple and other rivals in the US e-book market, an analysis by RR Bowker found. The group disputes both claims by Amazon and said Amazon's Kindle Store controlled 61 percent of e-book downloads, or 10 to 20 percent less than Amazon itself thought. Barnes & Noble's store has 20 percent where Sony has five percent.
Apple's market share for the iBookstore wasn't published at the time of the study but, by extension, was less than five percent. Apple is new to the market, having only opened its store in April.
The study noted that Amazon also has the largest device market share, at 40 percent, and that reading directly on a computer was second. The iPad is known to be affecting e-reader sales, but the actual portion of readers buying books hasn't been divulged by Apple. Most who don't own a reading device have said the cost is the primary obstacle.
Among all digital readers, however, almost all are shedding their print reading. About 50 percent have entirely dropped paper reading, while 49 percent have given up the vast majority of traditional books. About 38 percent of those new to e-book reading said they had downloaded their first title in the last six months.
Commercializing e-books may be difficult, as about half of all downloads are free titles such as public domain books or giveaways.