More than 1.3 million e-readers were sold in the UK pre-Christmas, equating to one in every 40 adults receiving the device as a present this year, new research has shown.
Of those sold 92 per cent were Kindle products, produced by global e-tail giant Amazon, according to a recent survey conducted by research firm YouGov and published today, making it the most popular technology gift of Christmas 2011.
This will be seen as more bad news for book retailers and producers as the trend for reading from a screen rather than a page just got bigger, with YouGov’s modelling suggesting that a further 640,000 tablet devices were gifted to adults in the UK.
Marek Yaygelt, Head of Technology and Telecoms Consulting at YouGov, said: “This is finally the year when the late-medieval technology of the printing press was challenged by a 21st-century, digital alternative.
“Amazon has done a remarkable job of selling the benefits of e-readers and the upside for the publishing industry is that it appears e-reader owners, at least in the early days, buy more e-books than the printed books they purchased before acquiring an e-reader.”
Tablets and e-readers were more popular with women than men during the festive period, with 61 per cent of Kindles received by females and only 40 per cent of all Apple tablet devices being gifted to men.
UK’s only remaining major bookselling chain Waterstone’s was sold by under-pressure entertainment retailer HMV last year, after store closures and refurbishments were not enough to combat falling sales.