E-reader is a new market segment that has started to gain attention as a potential replacement to conventional printed reading materials. However, before it can really become dominant, there is a need to further slash down its pricing as according to Gartner analysis report recently.
Generally, e-reader devices’ price still quite high with most of them over $199, which is very expensive to be affordable for average users. Especially when the device is not designed to be multifunction but instead only serves mainly for e-book reading purposes, it will be hard to justify for budget allocation. But with more and more e-reader products such as Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nood, Sony and many more being introduced to market, there is an expectation that the product pricing will drop while still able to integrate additional features in order to stand out from the crowd. Some of the expected features include the ability to support various eBook formats, can hook up to wireless netbook for e-Book downloading, able to synchronous with other networked devices for contents sharing on top of the e-Ink technology that can conserve power as compared to conventional electronics gadgets.
The estimated retail price of future e-reader has to be fall to around $99 by 2010 and manufacturers may have to find their way towards this objective while still able to add in additional functionality without affecting their profit margins. However, unless there is a technology breakthrough of the e-Ink LCD module that occupies mojority of the BOM (Bill of Material) cost, it may be necessary to start looking for partnership from its eco-partners or service providers to further bring down the retail price with subsidy just like other mobile devices.