Jan. 12, 2011 at 11:56 AM ET
In a recent study analyzing Twitter conversations, Amazon's behemoth Kindle continues to dominate as a positive experience, but the Nook and Nook Color are gaining traction with readers who appreciate the latter’s touch-screen and interface that presents newspapers, magazines and children’s book in a more pleasing way than Kindle. The iPad’s glossy LCD display and size continue to make it unfavorable as an e-reader to consumers.
Massachusetts-based Crimson Hexagon, which provides social media monitoring and analysis, came up with the findings after going through tweets from last month, in a follow-up to a July study about consumer satisfaction in regards to e-readers. Based on conversation volume, the Kindle is still by a two-to-one margin the most popular e-reader. Happy consumer tweet about the Kindle 1,000 times a day, vs. 500 per day for the Nook. The iPad comes in at a lackluster 120 tweets per day as an e-reader. The report acknowledges that limitation, since people are probably talking about the iPad in other contexts due to its multi-functionality.
On Dec.27, Amazon made an announcement that showed just how popular its e-reader had become: “The third-generation Kindle is now the bestselling product in Amazon's history, eclipsing "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)."
In that statement, Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said:
"We're seeing that many of the people who are buying Kindles also own an LCD tablet. Customers report using their LCD tablets for games, movies, and web browsing and their Kindles for reading sessions." He then went into infomercial mode, but he hit all the highlights that make the Kindle a force to be reckoned with:
They report preferring Kindle for reading because it weighs less, eliminates battery anxiety with its month-long battery life, and has the advanced paper-like Pearl e-ink display that reduces eye-strain, doesn't interfere with sleep patterns at bedtime, and works outside in direct sunlight, an important consideration especially for vacation reading. Kindle's $139 price point is a key factor -- it's low enough that people don't have to choose.
Here’s more ammunition for the domination of the Kindle: "On Christmas Day, more people turned on new Kindles for the first time, downloaded more Kindle Buy Once, Read Everywhere apps, and purchased more Kindle books than on any other day in history."
Other tidbits from the Amazon camp: Kindle (Wi-Fi) and Kindle 3G were the best-selling products on Amazon.com this holiday season, and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was the most purchased Kindle book on Christmas Day, as well as the most gifted Kindle book on Christmas Day.
Following hotly on its heels: its arch-nemesis, Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Nook Color, which did not make it into the first Crimson Hexagon study. One of the big reasons consumers are loving their Nooks: the ability to borrow books from libraries, rather than being forced to buy all the time. Amazon launched book lending Dec.30, with a restriction of 14-days per book. But consumers don’t need a Kindle to use the system, but it does require the Kindle app, which can be installed into Android and Apple devices.
Nook Color's advantage is being a hybrid of the Nook and Kindle, with its color LCD touch-screen that allows it to support layered content such as newspapers, magazines, and children’s books, which don't present on the Kindle as well. "Twitter users clearly appreciate these advantages, showing 15% positive perception of the Nook Color’s display, compared to 10 percent for the standard Nook and just 8 percent for the Kindle." Nook Color's cost, which falls between the Kindle and the iPad at $249, also gives it a hybrid status that makes consumers feel like they're getting more than an e-reader, though it falls far short of a tablet. But as a "pseudo-tablet," it seems to appeal to folks. Nook Color also shares a flaw with iPad that pulls down its good vibes with consumers: that same nifty LCD screen also makes for terrible reading outdoors.
Continuing to fall in favor since Crimson Hexagon’s July study: the iPad, which keeps losing ground due to that LCD display and its size, but consumers also see it as much more than an e-reader.
What's your favorite e-reader, and why?