In the second quarter of last year India saw a 107.4% increase in tablet shipments. The number of tablets sold in India during this period was close 1.15 million. What does this indicate to the eBook market? A lot to be honest.
eBook sales in India are still abysmally low compared to printed books, accounting for less than 1% of the total sales of books. But the scenario is changing, at least in some customer segments.
One of the biggest problems with eBooks in India is the low adoption of eReaders. While the tablet sales figures in India (shown earlier) are very encouraging, the fact is that eReaders have a near to nothing market share in this category. Even though top eReaders liko Kobo and Nook are sold in India, Kindle remains the only eReader of note. And yet sales of Kindle units are so low that there varying perceptions about the actual sales figures.
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However, the low sales figure of eReaders doesn’t impact the eBook adoption in India. Indians read a lot of eBooks but their preferred medium to do so is the tablet. Apple and Samsung are the biggest tablet players in the country and people can’t think beyond these two brands (and some other Indian brands like Micromax and Karbonn) when it comes to tablets.
Globalization has made the modern urban Indians a well travelled lot. One only needs to consider most of the domestic flights in the country that are near chock-a-block all the time. In this scenario it is but expected that eBooks are going to find more takers and they are finding takers by the truckloads. Amazon and Flipkart are ruling the Indian eBook space, but there are a host of other digital book publishers that are coming into the fray. And this is only because of the increasing adoption of eBooks in India thanks to technological advancements.
While most Indians still prefer the look and feel of a physical book and the chance to curl on the bed with their favourite book, the trend is gradually changing. The young Indian is slowly becoming more adapted to using technology. Thanks to technology even regional language books are now getting exposure that they desperately require. Added to this, self publishing has caught up big time in the country. And all these factors are positively impacting the adoption of eBooks in urban India.
It will take time for Indians to completely switch to eBooks but that time is not too distant. If the big players are able to play their cards right they can surely eat up a large space in the Indian book market.
Image credit: Kyle Taylor, Dream It. Do It. on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Profile_Pic_Moumita.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Moumita Goswami is a full-time homemaker and a passionate writer. She stays in Pune with her husband and daughter. After giving up working, she started writing about five years ago and can now be seen using her computer keyboard almost all the time. An MA in Psychology from Calcutta University, Moumita has spent time in Kolkata, Delhi and now Pune. For Moumita, writing started as a sudden chance but she soon discovered her likeness for it. And now she has developed a passion for writing and hardly any day passes without her scribbling a few lines. She dreams of publishing her own book one day and is working towards it.