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Who Is Buying All These E-Readers?

by Sean P. Aune | April 30, 2010April 30, 2010 11:58 am PDT

A report was released this past week that the Barnes & Noble Nook sold 53 percent of the e-readers for the month of March, bypassing Amazon’s Kindle for the first time.  While most articles spawned by the Digitimes report focused on that aspect of the story, the part that got me was the projection that over 11 million e-readers were be sold this year alone.

Seriously?  Who in the world is buying all of these e-readers?

nookfrontGlobal e-reader shipments for the first quarter of this year were reported to 1.43 million units, and the second quarter is expected to see 2.02 million units shipped.  By the end of 2010, the projections are set at 11.4 million units for the entire year, a massive jump from the 3.82 million sold in 2009.

All of this really leaves me wondering who in the world is buying all of these devices.  My circle of friends, as you might guess, are a pretty tech savvy group of people, but yet not a one of them owns an e-reader.  We all talk about buying one eventually, but yet none of us ever seem to get around to it for various reasons.  I did actually preorder a Nook, but once the reviews hit, I canceled it.

Even going outside of my circle of friends, I have yet to see an e-reader “in the wild” with my own eyes.  I don’t ever see them around the local university campus, or any of the local restaurants, there just seems to be none out there.  Now, true, I live in a rural community, but with over 6,000 students going to school here, you would think I would surely see one here or there with all of the millions of units that are selling.  Heck, I saw iPhones out and about in my town within days of the initial launch back in 2007, and we aren’t even technically in an AT&T service area!

I believe the numbers, there really isn’t any reason not to, but I am just curious who these people are, and where in the heck they are hiding.  I thought the whole point of these devices was to use them during your commute, lunch break and in coffee shops.  Instead everyone seems to hide them in their homes, never wanting to know the shame of the fact that they … oh my gosh … READ!

How about you?  Do you ever see e-readers out and about in your area?  Do you know one of these mythical millions of people?  Heck, are you one of them?

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...