E-Books Now More Popular Than Games in iTunes Store

Last Updated Mar 12, 2010 1:25 PM EST

For the first time ever, the number of eBooks (27,000) has surpassed games (25,400) in Apple's iTunes app store, according to the mobile ad company Mobclix.

"It's a trend that seems to be gathering momentum, with the number of book apps outnumbering games almost two to one over the past month," reports the Guardian (U.K.), noting that the iPad's impedning arrival should only "accelerate the shift to electronic reading still further."

This is just the latest evidence that 2010 is turning into the "Year of the eBook."

In that context, Michael Serbinis, CEO of the eBook company Kobo, predicts that over 15 million eReaders will be sold this year. "Forrester guessed 6 million for 2010, but from my perspective they are missing the mark by about 2.5x," he stated.

Serbinis also predicts that a $99 eReader will hit the market, if not later this year, by 2011 for sure. "If you are selling an eReader north of $249, it had better sing and dance, clean the house-- and make a mean soufflé," he suggests.

Amazon's Kindle controls an estimated 90 percent of the eReader market at present, but competition -- hello, Apple iPad! -- means that that share is certain to decline. Mobile devices in the hands of U.S. consumers already number 84 million smartphones that can run apps.

From a global perspective, cellphones are the device of choice for reading books. "Are phones, in the long run, more important than e-readers to the future of global book publishing?" asks Edward Nawotka at the international newsletter Publishing Perspectives. "I would argue yes, especially when one considers price. In highly populated growth markets, such as China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, and much of Africa, a dedicated e-reader will remain a very pricey luxury for the foreseeable future; in the meantime, the cheap cell phone and the low-cost, high-speed internet access that comes with it will become nearly universal."

image: Mobclix
Related BNET Links:
Amazon's E-Book Share Shrinking, But the Pie is Growing "Going forward, we can envision a scenario where Apple, Amazon, and Google eventually split the market..."

E-Readers in 2010: DIY or Partner With Amazon, Sony, Plastic Logic, et. al. If you scan the many predictions for the media industry in 2010, one consensus is that e-readers will become a much more important channel for content distribution over the coming year...

E-Books Reach a "Tipping Point," Triggering Explosive Growth "My email in-box is humming this week with people sharing anecdotes about the growth in popularity of e-books--"

Amazon, the Kindle, and the Future of All Books New York City "--you can't turn around in this town without bumping into yet another laid off editor--

Digital Books Selling Like Hotcakes "Right around the time this piece posts, attendees at a panel discussion entitled "The Rise of eBooks" at O'Reilly's "Tools of Change" conference will gather in a sixth floor Manhattan venue to discuss the future--"

Will Recession Help E-Books Emerge?
Smashwords CEO Evaluates E-Book Market Regarding today's news that Amazon sold an estimated 500,000 Kindles last year, I asked Mark Coker, founder/CEO of Smashwords, the digital self-publishing company, for his reaction--

  • David Weir

    David Weir is a veteran journalist who has worked at Rolling Stone, California, Mother Jones, Business 2.0, SunDance, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, MyWire, 7x7, and the Center for Investigative Reporting, which he cofounded in 1977. He’s also been a content executive at KQED, Wired Digital, Salon.com, and Excite@Home. David has published hundreds of articles and three books,including "Raising Hell: How the Center for Investigative Reporting Gets Its Story," and has been teaching journalism for more than 20 years at U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and Stanford.