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Thursday, 13 January 2011

E-books in education in 2011

One interesting report that has come my way is the Price Waterhouse Coopers report on ebooks, published at the end of 2010.

While it is not specifically related to education, it does give a good overview for those who haven't yet begun thinking about e-readers and e-books. It contains some very persuasive arguments for why teachers and librarians need to try eReaders and eBooks. It is the way the world is headed.

It compares data from from the US, UK, Germany and the Netherlands (what a pocket of resistance that seems to be)

I was particularly interested in the final pages which described the Situation in the Year 2015. (check page 32 onwards)

Here are the main points:

  • Books will still be printed. Books made from paper are not going to become museum pieces any time soon. However the book industry will be transformed by eBooks and eReaders.
  • Printed books will continue to account for the majority of sales. At the end of 2010 eBooks accounted for only 7% of the US market and much less elsewhere.
  • Prices for eReaders will fall.
  • Colour screens and Internet connectivity will become commonplace.
  • eReaders will remain less expensive than tablets and have fewer "disruptive" features.
  • Dedicated eReaders will continue to be more popular than tablets, although the sales will flatten out where they are already established.
  • Tablets will be lighter and have longer battery life than currently.
  • Tablets will gradually take the place of printed magazines and newspapers.
  • More publishers will offer multimedia content in eBooks.
  • "special interest books" will be sold on a chapter by chapter basis (this has interesting implications for text books)
  • Cook books and Travel guides and other special interest books will be offered as tablet Apps, and also with interactive feautres, online updates, and subscriptions
  • Libraries will be lending both eReaders and eBooks
  • As demand decreases for print books some titles may no longer be available in print, although printing on demand may still happen.
  • By the end of 2012 most avid readers (in the US at least) will own an eReader.
  • The eBooks market share in the US will be 22.5% in 2015. In the UK it will be 14% in 2015, and in Germany 6% and in the Netherlands 4%
  • Closures of physical bookstores so far have probably had more to do with the economic downturn than with the rise of eBooks. Physical bookstores will need to look at the services they offer in order to ensure survival.

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