E-readers: Russia's next revolution

E-reader screens will soon be produced in Russia, which is quickly embracing digital content.

Russia has long been renowned for its vast libraries, book collections, and bookstores -- though not always accessible to the masses. But in recent years, book sales have fallen on hard times, along with the country's rocky economy. Now, it appears the e-book revolution has reached the steppes and shores of the federation.

The Financial Times reports that Rusnano, Russia’s state nanotechnology company, intends to invest $150 million in manufacturing e-reader screens in a partnership with Plastic Logic, a California-based electronics group.The screens will then be sent for finally assembly in Taiwan.

The primary market for this technology will be the United States, where e-book sales have been multiplying at astounding rates. The Association of American Publishers reported that e-book sales for the first eight months of 2010 were at $263 million, compared to $89.8 million from January-August 2009 -- an overall increase for the category of 193% over the same period last year.

However, it's likely that Russians themselves will soon be voracious consumers of e-readers and digital content. “Russians are downloading books onto laptops, mobile phones and I-Pads, whatever they can find," Simon Dunlop, a British businessman who founded Bookmate.ru this year to market e-books in Russia, is quoted as saying.

J'son and Partners Consulting, which tracks the Russian digital market, estimates that sales of e-readers will reach about 440,000 this year -- up from 250,000 in 2009 and 60,000 the year before.

(Photo: CNET)

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All