iPad Quickly Encroaching on Kindle's Territory

One of the big unknowns surrounding the emerging tablet market is whether or not slates would supplant dedicated eBook readers. Following the release of Apple's iPad, it didn't take long for eBook readers to drop in price, which made the proposition of buying a $500+ tablet to read electronic books seem far less appealing, color screen be damned. Or did it?

Market research firm ChangeWave surveyed 2,800 consumers and found that the two platforms -- Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iPad -- are in a heated race to finish with the largest eBook reader ownership. It's not surprising that the less expensive and very capable Kindle claims an edge, but it's not as big as you might think. According to the survey, the Kindle is grasping to a 47 percent share of the eReader market, which is down 15 percentage points. And the iPad? It moved up 16 percentage points and now claims a 32 percent slice of the pie.

What's more, iPad owners seem slightly happier with their purchase than Kindle owners. Some 96 percent said they were either 'Very Satisfied' (75 percent) or 'Somewhat Satisfied' (21 percent), versus 92 percent of Kindle owners (54 percent and 38 percent, respectively).

Naturally Kindle owners are more apt to read eBooks on their devices, with 93 percent saying exactly that (what those other 7 percent are doing is anyone's guess), but surprisingly, some 76 percent of iPad owners also acknowledged using their magical tablet to read eBooks.