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12/1/2010
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Kindle Rapidly Losing Share To iPad

E-reader market penetration for Apple's tablet computer has increased 16 percentage points since August, while Amazon's device has fallen almost an equal amount, a consumer survey shows.

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Since August, Amazon.com's Kindle has been losing share in the e-reader market to Apple's iPad, and the trend shows no sign of letting up, a survey shows.

From Aug. 1 to Nov. 8, the Kindle's share fell 15 percentage points to 47% of the market, according to ChangeWave Research. In the same timeframe, the iPad's share rose 16 percentage points to 32%. The rest of the market includes the Sony Reader at 5%, and the Barnes and Noble Nook with 4%.

ChangeWave's survey of more than 2,800 consumers also revealed that the percentage of iPad users "very satisfied" with the tablet computer was higher than that of the Kindle, 75% versus 54%.

The study, released Tuesday, also found major differences in the content read on the devices. A total of 93% of Kindle owners use the device for reading books, compared to 76% for iPad users. The Kindle was not used nearly as frequently for reading newspapers, magazines, blogs and newsfeeds. People were five times more likely to read newspapers and magazines on the iPad and 15 times more likely to read blogs and newsfeeds.

The iPad's acceptance as a device for reading content other than books indicates that Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is fulfilling his promise to develop alternative types of media on the iPad. The survey also adds credence to recent reports that News Corp. is developing an electronic newspaper for the tablet, ChangeWave says.

As the holiday shopping season begins, consumer demand for e-readers remains strong, ChangeWave says. Over the next 90 days, 5% of the respondents in the survey say they are "very likely" to buy an e-reader and 10% are "somewhat likely."

Apple is expected to benefit the most from this pool of potential buyers and increase its share of the market over the holiday season, ChangeWave says. Among those respondents planning to buy an e-reader, 42% are "most likely" to buy an iPad and 33% a Kindle.

Sales of the iPad show that Apple has lots of momentum heading into the holiday season. The company introduced the iPad April 3 and sold 300,000 units the first day. In the first 80 days, Apple sold 2 million units. Strategy Analytics estimates the iPad commands a 95% share of the tablet computing market.

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