Since switching to taking the train to work three months ago, I’ve been watching what devices people are using for news and media consumption. If you ride the train or find yourself in a public place, do yourself a favor and look around. It’s fascinating.
Newspapers aren’t dead here, but they’re definitely in decline. A check around me in this car has 8 people out of 120 reading a paper. Physical book reading is also down compared to my train rides three years ago.
Instead of books and newspapers I see iPhones and BlackBerry’s. There are tons of these devices, almost literally. But in three months I am yet to see a single Kindle.
Every seat one passes walking in or out has an occupant or two swishing their fingers across a touchscreen or wildly flailing thumbs on a keypad. Most people are reading on these devices, browsing web sites, consuming words.
Yesterday’s news about Kindle book downloads being 10% of amazon’s sales isn’t as surprising when looking at people’s device use, and is kind of a foreshadowing of what’s to come… If Kindle downloads were 10% of Amazon’s consumed books and the Kindle is <1% of the portable device market, what happens when iPhones, iPods, Sony eReader, and other media consumption devices cleanly support book and newspaper content?