Sub £50 eReaders – It’ll never happen

22 November 2010

Sub £50 eReaders – It’ll never happen

If you’ve visited any of the popular eBook forums/blogs over the last year or two you’ve likely seen plenty of debates discussing how eBook Readers will only hit the mainstream once they get down below $100, although in more recent months a $50 number (One example is this Computerworld article: The e-reader market: Still young and restless) has been bantered around (£50 on our side of the pond).

Okay, I’m going to admit that I too used to think like this, though recently I realised that although we’ve certainly reached that sub-£100 price point, I’m not convinced we’ll get below a £50 mark.

The way I see it, there are a couple of reasons why we won’t see many eReaders dropping below this price;

  1. Cost: Put simply, eReaders have all the components of a Music Player + that dirty big screen. Whether that’s an E-Ink display or a cheaper LCD, it’s still going to push the price up.
  2. Being Realistic: Let’s face it; dedicated eReaders will always be for the more serious readers amongst us. For the rest, their Smartphones (iPhone, Android, etc) or multimedia tablets (iPad) will suffice for those half dozen books per year and monthly magazine subscriptions they have.

Of course, this discussion could be a mute point as the future of the dedicated eReader is limited anyway—but then that’s an argument for another day!

What do you think? Will we start to see sub-£50 eBook Readers for the masses, or will they remain for the hardcore bookworms?