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Electronic reader should be restricted to niche

Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, with the Kindle e-reader

Launched in the mid-2000s, electronic readers (or e-readers) made many people question whether the paper book had its days numbered. At their peak, they vied with tablets for space in stores and in consumers' pockets. Today, however, his fate seems even more cruel than that predicted for iPads and their peers. There are people who still buy flip phones and DVD players. Why wouldn't there be people who buy e-readers? Jokes analyst Mikako Kitagawa, from consultancy Gartner.

In her view and that of other analysts, electronic readers are bound to enter the niche of those fascinated by outdated technologies. The main one is e-ink, the name given to the screens of e-readers: an innovation that tried to imitate the paper book, without tiring the view as do the blue lights emitted by PCs and smartphones. Who first brought the trend to the market was Sony, in 2006, but who best represented this ideal was Amazon's Kindle.

Even with the impulse of the American retailer, e-readers never became a mass device. At the top, in 2011, the market leader Amazon it even sold 23.2 million units. Five years later, the mark was only 7.1 million, a decline that can be felt across the category. And the drop may increase: according to projections by the information portal Statista, the revenue from the sale of electronic readers may fall to $ 160 million in 2025 in 2018, was $ 460 million.

In Brazil, the volume is very small: only 18 thousand units were sold in 2019, according to Euromonitor market consultancy. The company's projection is that this number will drop to 14 thousand in 2024.

But there are those who believe that the category will not disappear completely. Even with the decline, the e-reader will continue to exist due to Amazon, which is the largest seller of e-books in the world, explains Gustavo Camargo, marketing analyst at the Sidi technology institute. It makes sense: in a technological environment in which hardware is losing prominence to services, having a device with a way of outdated detail. What matters what it allows to consume.