Recently one of my readers asked me how I felt about my prediction a year ago that dedicated e-readers were doomed to decline. This was before the Pew Internet & American Life Project reported that "The percent of U.S. adults with an e-book reader doubled from 6% to 12% between November 2010 and May 2011," while "roughly the same percentage" of people were using tablets in May 2011 as had been using them in November 2010. You know what? I still feel good about my prediction.
You see, if you take a closer look at the Pew report, E-reader Ownership Doubles in Six Months (PDF Link) you'll see that tablets still gained 3% more owners. True, the growth rate for tablets has slowed down some and e-book readers appear to be growing faster, but has it really.
You see I'm also on record as saying that the Android Linux-powered e-readers were quickly evolving into tablets. Like what tablets you ask? Try the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble's Nook Color: they're both powered by Android
The Nook Color is already an Android tablet. It runs Android 2.2. It also has a small, but growing number of Android applications including Fandango, Evernote and Seesmic and, a personal favorite of mine for reading news Pulse News.
While Amazon hasn't announced that there's a Kindle Tablet on its way, I know from numerous sources that one, or more, are on their way. Once I had a clearer idea what's what with it, I'll be reporting on what industry insiders have told me.
So, if anything, I'm surer than ever that the day of the dedicated e-reader is done-except at the bottom end-is done. Now, and then, why should companies bother to make devices that only let you read books when with Android it's so easy to make these devices into full-scale tablets? I can't think of a single good reason. Can you?