Have e-readers hit the glass ceiling

E-Ink Holdings the company responsible for the most popular screens found in e-readers today have posted strong September gains. During that month the company saw 126 million dollars in sales, which is up 143% from the same period last year.
There is no dispute that e-readers sales continue to rise because of the large quantity of new devices utilizing the technology. More players have entered the market in 2011 and companies such as Amazon, Sony and Barnes and Noble have all released new devices this year.
Releasing new devices and making more of them to meet the needs of a ravenous public addicted to technology is strongly increasing e-Inks bottom line. During the period from January to September the company saw close to 928 million dollars in revenue. This is more then the entire company made during the entire year of 2010.
Scott Liu, the chairman of E Ink, commented, “This year our customers have launched a number of affordable, light-weight e-readers with

exciting new feature sets. I anticipate that the e-reader will become a best-selling holiday gift this year.”
In the North American market dedicated e-reader sales continue to do well. Companies are offering more affordable devices and the public is becoming more aware of the tremendous benefits. Advertising campaigns are mostly the driving force informing the public to the very nature of the low-power devices that have a myriad of benefits. Low cost, saving trees and cheaper books continue to be the driving factors of the popularity of them.
In 2010 we did not see many readers in retail locations and mostly were relegated to a online business. Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Sony were three companies with retail clout and high visibility to potential customers. It has really only been since 2011 do we see e-readers sold everywhere. Walmart, Best Buy, Circuit City, Target, Staples, Office Depot, Radio Shack and Futureshop have ALL got into the e-reader game and you can find every popular device being sold. This is increasing the amount of units sold and manufactured which is a boon to e-ink Holdings.
I surmise 2011 will be the biggest year ever in the e-Reader industry as a whole, and more particularly to the tech companies responsible for providing the parts and screens. Freescale and e-Ink are two companies seeing unrepresented profit, but the real question is can it be maintained?
2010 was the year e-readers matured from being a fringe device to something people were aware of. In 2011 was the huge success commercially and drastically reduced the prices. They are really as low as they can get, with entry level Kindles costing $79 and companies trying to follow suit. Can this trend be maintained throughout 2012, or have we hit our peak?
There is a convergence in the air with smartphones and tablets blurring the line of a one in one, multimedia device. You can’t really go a day without new phones and tablets being released. Phones are getting bigger while tablets continue to decrease in size. There is no dispute that the tablet sector is making a pile of money right now but what bearing does it have on e-readers? Phones and Tablets are a merriment of the same technology and e-readers full in an entirely different segment.
Many younger people are growing up with full color touchscreen devices from a very early age. We hear from parents all the time that their three year old is playing with their iPad. Who will grow up from these high level color interactive devices and go with an e-reader?



Have e-readers hit the glass ceiling