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E-reader sales hold up against new tablets

By Gideon Spanier

Sales of e-readers such as Kobo and Amazon Kindle have been holding up strongly against mobile tablets such as Apple iPad, according to new research.

Consultants Deloitte estimate eight million Britons now have an e-reader – equivalent to a third of households – with those aged 45-54 most likely to own the device as they tend to be more affluent and keen readers.

Deloitte's annual media consumer survey also found that one in 10 respondents plans to buy an e-reader in the next year. Mark Lee-Amies, partner at Deloitte, said e-readers have sold well because they are relatively cheap – Kobo's most basic model sells for under £50 – but he warned that could change as competition is hotting up from "aggressively priced all-purpose tablets" that offer video and games.

Todd Humphrey, Kobo's executive vice-president of business development, said the popularity of e-readers showed consumers like a device dedicated to reading books.

"You read a lot that the black-and-white e-reader is going away and that tablets are taking over but we doubled our sales last year," he said.

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