Kindle eBook reader sold quite well since its introduction in November 2007, eBooks have yet to reach the mainstream. According to the latest data from Hitwise, however, interest in eBooks continues to grow steadily. Looking at the data for the U.K., Hitwise's Robin Goad concludes that searches for 'ebooks' doubled between January 2008 and 2009, with a clear peak around Christmas. As the Kindle isn't available outside of the U.S. yet, Sony's Reader dominates the searches for eBook readers in the U.K.While Amazon's
Goad also notes that Hitwise sees a similar trend for the Kindle in the U.S., where interest in eBooks and eBook readers typically grows at the end of the summer and peaks in December.
Google Trends shows a pattern that is very similar to Hitwise's data, though it also clearly shows that there is little to no interest in the Sony Reader in the United States.
EBooks, Real Books, and the iPhone
Interestingly, the Hitwise study makes no mention of the iPhone. EBook readers like Stanza are, after all, some of the most popular apps on Apple's phone, and just last February we wondered if the iPhone might just be the ultimate eBook reader (though some of our commenters didn't necessarily agree with us).
We are clearly becoming more accustomed to electronic books and it is no surprise that interest in eBook readers is constantly growing, even though we don't assume that they will replace traditional books anytime soon.
With regards to eBook readers, it still remains to be seen if a dedicated device like the Kindle will win out over a more compact, multi-purpose gadget like the iPhone.