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back to article Tablets aren't killing ereaders, it's clog-popping wrinklies - analyst

Don’t blame the tablet computer for the demise of the ebook reader. Instead, look no further than aged users who are inconveniently - for Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Kobo et al - kicking the bucket. That’s the claim made by ABI Research, a market watcher which has been tracking the ereader business for more than 10 years. ABI’ …

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Bollocks

I am getting on and have no intention of kicking the bu----

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Angel

Re: Bollocks

Quite right.

Personally I intend to live forever. So far, so good...

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Re: Bollocks

plus I'm too tight to pay for a replacement bucket. They just don't make em like they used to!

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Re: Bollocks

>Personally I intend to live forever.

Or die trying.

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Re: Bollocks

In the words of Woody Allen : "I don't want to become immortal through my work, I want to become immortal through not dying"

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Happy

Re: Bollocks

One foot in front of the other... keep breathing.

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Windows

Next: GUI redesign driven by aging "designers" who realize their crap is for the yoof generation

Buttons are getting larger, fonts are getting easier to read, clicking on the wrong button no longer has annoying or catastrophic consequences, a large X widget allows one to find the mouse pointer immediately and the cognitive load stays limited....

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Re: Next: GUI redesign driven by aging "designers" who realize their crap is for the yoof generation

>"GUI redesign driven by aging "designers" who realize their crap is for the yoof generation

Buttons are getting larger, fonts are getting easier to read, "

I'd associated that with some my older computer-using friends... the ones with several pairs of spectacles. Y'know, the ones who sometimes run their monitor at less than its native resolution because making the fonts 125% in Win7 breaks the dialogue-box layout in some XP programs...

Generally, young design students are encouraged to think of the ageing demographic, and design products for people whose needs might differ to their own.

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Anonymous Coward

Young man! Young man!

There's no need to swear in print, young man. In my day you'd have been slipped a winkie by the vicar for so doing.

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Re: Young man! Young man!

Your tubes, sir!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Young man! Young man!

In my day you'd have been slipped a winkie by the vicar for so doing.

And nowerdays he'd get arrested for doing so...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Young man! Young man!

Now then! Now then!

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I've never felt so old... I think I'll pull down a book to my ol' Nook tonight and read for a while to cheer myself up.

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Joke

Remember to empty your bag, take out your teeth and find your reading glasses first, grandad...

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Correlation != Causation

If it did then this graph would fully place the blame of decreasing number of pirates (the sea kind) on global warming:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/PiratesVsTemp_English.jpg

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Re: Correlation != Causation

Or show that global warming is caused by a reduction in pirate activity. Where's Cap'n Jack when you need him?

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Pirate

Re: Correlation != Causation

Or place the blame for global warming on the decreasing number of seagoing pirates.

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Gimp

Re: Correlation != Causation

Well the graph is anyway wrong, as the deathrate isn't a straight(ish) line --- there's coffin dodgers that will hang on to 105, 110, even 115y --- but a saturating function, so a horizontal asymptote at the "100% dead" point. Similar for eBooks, as I guess that 50y--100y from now there will still be the odd (very odd) geek running one or more as if it's a C64.

That will be called the 'siliconpunk' lifestyle probably.

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Re: Correlation != Causation

> Where's Cap'n Jack when you need him?

Evidently retired

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Happy

Re: Correlation != Causation

Obligatory xkcd

http://xkcd.com/552/

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Mushroom

Re: Correlation != Causation

Or show that global warming is caused by a reduction in pirate activity. Where's Cap'n Jack when you need him?

It got too hot for him. Because it's not one causing the other -- it's a vicious cycle...

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Re: Correlation != Causation

The cars are pretty mean too!

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MJF

Re: Correlation != Causation

Well:

http://www.icc-ccs.org.uk/news/737-piracy-increasing-in-west-africa-latest-report-shows

and

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217286/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-reveals-Met-Office-report-quietly-released--chart-prove-it.html

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Pirate

Re: Correlation != Causation

but the number of sea pirates is increasing, and a good thing it is. Didn't I read on "el reg" that there is no need to panic, because the temperature rise will only be by 1.7 degrees by 2050.

Somalia is the cure to global warming.

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Or...

Maybe the reason is that e-readers are basically the same product as they always have been. I can updgrade my phone or tablet to something better, but if I buy a new e-reader it will just be exactly the same as the one I already have.

So I buy new phones every now and then, and have bought a tablet in the last year, but I still use the same kindle, and will continue to do so.

Maybe if they could get a real colour e-reader, or one with a bigger screen then I MIGHT be tempted, but why the hell should I shell out 100+ beer tokens to get a device that will just do and look exactly like the one I already have!

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Re: Or...

This - I have an e-ink device.

What would I like to improve on it?

Battery life - no - 3 months is fine

Screen size - no - dead tree publishers settled on a good size, this is the same

Colour - no - if I want colour I have other devices, this is for text (and e-boarding passes)

Maybe I'd like to fiddle the buttons a bit, they're too easy to hit accidentally on the side you're holding...

So - will I buy a new one?

NO

Will I buy a new tablet as better devices emerge, well - not for a while, but yes I will.

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Re: Or...

That certainly makes a lot more sense. Market saturation, rather than market termination.

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Re: Or...

So ereaders are suffering the same fate as the English lawnmower industry. Building goods that won't need replacing is basically a fatal move in that kind of industry (sadly).

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Facepalm

Re: Or... (you might be up to something...)

My wife and I got our Sony PRS-505 in 2007 (each one got their own)

The devices are still kicking and we saw no problems with them.

However, said that, the time is coming to replace butteries - readers do not longer keep charge for a month :-(

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One trick pony -> market saturation

Smartphones and tablets can keep selling because new generations have new features/functions which the readers find desirable.

A Kindle, OTOH, does one thing pretty well: it renders text as a book replacement. It has a long battery life. Once you have one, you're very unlikely to buy a replacement. What for?

If you wanted new functions (games, moveis etc) you're more likely to go for a tablet - you will however miss the battery life if you toss out the Kindle.

Pretty much the same holds for candybar phones. Why would you upgrade to the latest candybar phone?

That pretty much leads to market saturation for these products. Once everyone that wants one has one, there is no further demand.

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Re: Or...

I believe this and market saturation are part of it. There have been improvements in e-readers, but they've been incremental.

For me personally, the biggest inhibitor of getting a new e-reader (or getting the first) is the business model, which has more than a couple of ramifications.

1. You pay a significant fraction of the price for a physical book, and you're only licensing the ebook. Amazon or whoever can smite you and your library whenever they deem necessary and leave you with nothing for your money (if you play by their rules).

2. Competing formats + drm (again, playing by the rules) prevent or impede usage of any e-reader as a universal text reading device.

3. Ebook offering unavailable: new releases - for various reasons - may not have an ebook version offered until some later time.

I would be significantly more interested in buying more ebooks/readers if a physical book + ebook bundle were readily available (at near hardbook price).

From a technology standpoint, I have a 3rd gen Kindle and like it as a tool and really love e-ink and its power efficiency, but I think people would be encouraged to upgrade if these improvements were achieved:

1. near 8.5"x11" size (affordably), for reading textbooks and magazines/papers

2. *some* color - doesn't have to look like Oz, but something please, for reading textbooks and magazines/papers.

3. stylus writing functionality - kind of wishful thinking into the future here, but a feature allowing you to scribble notes into your ebook, or create blank pages to take notes or write out homework.

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Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

I dont think i could stand reading for too long on a tablet, my good old Kindle however i can sit for hours and read (and do). Am i nearly dead? At 31 I hope not.

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Headmaster

Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

If they've had a modern progressive education, it's more likely they can't than won't.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

Don't know about reading, but you could of worked out for yourself that younger folk lost the spelling/grammar plot a good while ago.

nb for the avoidance of doubt: could have => could've. Not freaking could of, or should of, etc.

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Stop

No they're...

dyslexic, or have ADD. Or Asperger's syndrome and from a disadvantaged background.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

I confess I haven't had my Kindle on since the end of summer. The Kindle Android application is very nice, particularly set to sepia paper. But when we get some light back in the country, I suspect the Kindle will be retrieved from wherever I left it. Presently I can't actually remember where that was...

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Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

dont rite

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Headmaster

Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

"Don't know about reading, but you could of worked out for yourself that younger folk lost the spelling/grammar plot a good while ago.

nb for the avoidance of doubt: could have => could've. Not freaking could of, or should of, etc"

Was that a deliberate mistake to illustrate your point or an ironic accidental one?

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Happy

Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

I suspect the Kindle will be retrieved from wherever I left it. Presently I can't actually remember where that was...

So what you're saying is that you're now so old and past it that even if you don't die on the spot, you'll forget you've got the eReader, forget where you put your glasses, and so aren't much more use as a customer than if you were dead anyway. Hmmm. Oh dear.

I was going to suggest that Amazon put all their money into anti-ageing technology, and then they could sell DVDs and eReaders to the same group as they get older ad infinitum. As these are the people most likely to be on index-linked final salary pensions, it could be a good bet for a business model. However, they're all likely to forget their passwords, or lose their credit cards - so maybe another strategy is better.

On this topic, what are Werthers Original going to do for customers in a few years time?

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Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

Whoever coined the phrase ' the three 'R's' must have had a sense of humour.

>On this topic, what are Werthers Original going to do for customers in a few years time?

They skip a generation, as OAPs 'push' them on toddlers.

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Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

I dont think i could stand reading for too long on a tablet, my good old Kindle however i can sit for hours and read (and do). Am i nearly dead? At 31 I hope not.

I'm five years younger still (shocker for some of the old grumps on this thread) and I use my e-reader daily. My tablet? Oh, that's right, I don't own one.

But then I had one of these modern progressive educations, so I'm reading silly stuff like Verne and Wells, rather than the proper classics, like 50 Shades of Grey.

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Childcatcher

Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

Presently I can't actually remember where that was...

You know, memory is the second thing to go...

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Megaphone

Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

Werther's have more problems than Amazon as their customers have a disproportionately high chance of getting diabetes with all its life-limiting possibilities.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Greg

Kudos, but unfortunately you're in a diminishing minority!

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Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

Given a fair number of posts I see on blogs...

In a word, No.

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There are those who believe

That "crisis" is just another word for "opportunity". If the problem is really that bad, I'm sure the book vendors will start a new "100 books to read before you die" campaign.

/HHOS

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Re: There are those who believe

Here the terms are "pseudo-crisis" and "opportunity to seek attention"

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WTF?

If eInk readers were truly a dying breed then by the time the 'younger generation' are old they'll be legally blind.

In all seriousness, can anyone spend long periods reading from a tablet without suffering eye strain and associated headaches? Can many people even hold a proper tablet in their hands for extended periods without cramping?

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@ A Known Coward

There's no evidence at all that an LCD screen causes any more eye strain than an e-ink screen. Any studies on the matter have shown that the cause is always something else (not blinking enough, too small fonts etc.) and not at all related to the screen type.

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Go

Re: @ Gribbler

Who financed those particular studies?

Based on a quick whip around the office - 5 people completely agreed that reading on a tablet is crap for any length of time and that e-ink is much better, 1 person didnt care either way, the new school age work experience student asked what a book was (i think he was joking, but if so remind me not to play poker with him!), and my boss told me to stop messing around and get back to work.

So there you go 5/6 people in my office preferred e-ink and 2 people gave inappropriate responses (well inapporpriate for the study)...

Where's my grant money?

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