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Consumers want more functional ebook readers

Consumers want more functional ebook readers

Consumers want the next devices dedicated to reading e-books to have longer battery life, an Internet connection and an email service, according to a study released this month.

In-Stat’s analysis focuses on the North American market for ebook readers, an expanding segment on the other side of the Atlantic and which revealed great growth potential: 11 percent of respondents expressed their intention to buy an ebook reader in the future 12 months.

Most ebook consumers, around 45.5 percent, spend between $ 9 and $ 20 a month on digital content (between $ 6 and $ 14).

The analysis confirms that Amazon’s Kindle continues to be the market leader in this segment, but several manufacturers have recently introduced new solutions, such as Sony or Samsung.

This week Asus also confirmed the development of a device for reading digital books. With a design very different from the current proposals in this area, the manufacturer should launch by the end of this year a device to which it adds features that bring it closer to a netbook, but smaller and cheaper.

With Internet connection, webcam, speakers and microphone, this equipment is physically similar to a book, with two independent screens connected by a central «column», and one of the displays can be used as a virtual keyboard.

The guidance followed by the Taiwanese manufacturer seems to go against the opinion expressed by consumers heard by In-Stat. Current owners of devices dedicated to digital books ask for equipment that allows them to access email. Batteries with greater autonomy and Internet connection were the two most pointed characteristics among those who do not yet have this type of device but intend to purchase one during the next year.