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E-book owners like their hardware but say content is limited

Tony Collins

Market researcher YouGov has found that owners of e-book readers are happy with the hardware but unhappy with the limited range of e-books which are available.

The results come from the first wave of YouGov's new research programme, The E-Reader Experience, which has been launched by its Technology and Telecoms Consulting division.

>> See also: Photos: Top Ten eReaders reviewed - Kindle DX vs Sony Daily Edition

The top three rated quality attributes for e-readers are:

  • the clarity of the screen
  • the physical size and weight of the device
  • the build quality of the device
  • the attributes owners rate lowest are:
  • the range of e-books / subscriptions
  • the quality of the e-books / subscriptions available

Caroline Gaskin, Consulting Director at YouGov said: "Whereas the first wave of purchasers are early technology adopters, what YouGov characterises as the "Tech Vanguard", the second wave of purchasers, those likely to purchase in the run up to Christmas, are more likely to be younger, female and less tech savvy than current owners". She added: "Our research shows they will want a wider range of titles, in particular non-fiction and biographies."

Potential purchasers are most aware of Sony (65%), Amazon (42%) and Apple (35%) and are likely to be looking to these companies to fulfil their hardware requirements, despite the fact that at the time of the research only one of these companies had a product released in the UK - Sony. Awareness of other brands is significantly lower by comparison - BeBook, 15% and Borders5%.

"The lack of products from Amazon and Apple may inhibit this market in the short term" says Gaskin. "Prospective Apple purchasers are focused on style with prospective Amazon purchasers more interested in the range of e-books available". There is a misplaced association in future purchasers' minds between the arrival of the Kindle and the delivery of the full Amazon catalogue to the hardware. Sony prospects are focused on the reputation of the company and the style of their products."

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