Forrester Research released a report late last year that said that in order to ebook readers to reach a wide audience, the price would have to drop below $100. Now, this is quite significant not only because well-known Forrester has offered this news but because that it proves that the price really does have to drop in order to attract a lot of buyers. Anyone who is in the business of producing content(including books) should be keeping their eye on ebook readers because they have the potential to distribute information to the masses.
Let’s take a look at cell phones for a moment, shall we? If they cost hundreds of dollars, most of us would not be carrying them. Cell phone manufacturers knew from early on that they would have to lower the prices of these handheld devices if they expected to do well in the mass market. Today, you can easily find a great cell phone for less than $100. Ebook reader manufacturers had better take heed as well. Of course, like any new electronic device, we can expect the prices to drop with time. Look at the flat screen TVs-just a few short years ago they were only a dream for many consumers but today they are commonplace in many households and the prices are continuously on the decline.
Ebook reader makers could sell their devices for say, $100 with a contract agreement that the buyer must purchase a certain amount of books over a two year period. To make sure they do, they could charge a fixed monthly fee which the user could put towards the book purchases.
Many consumers today, partly due to the weak economy and partially due to the fact that they are unsure if they need an ereader, are not willing to dish out $300 for a new device. Many say that they never come close to spending $300 on new books, so why should they buy an ebook reader? Makes sense.
I for one, am really looking forward to the new Asus ebook readers-the DR950 and DR570- which are due out soon. There were many rumors swirling around that Asus-being known for high quality and low prices, was going to sell their feature-packed ereaders for around $150. It remains to be seen if this price will be offered, but we can surely hope so!
Forrester reported that in the best-case scenario, it is not likely that digital book readers will be as common as MP3 players or even cell phones, however there is a market out there poised and waiting for someone to take that first giant step and offer us an outstanding ebook reader at a low price.