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The year 2009 was exceptionally interesting. On the one hand, for the first time in many years sales of personal computers declined, on the other hand, 2009 summed up all the trends of the decade: mobility, style, high-definition, energy-efficiency, platformization and others. The 2009 also set a number of new trends that will only become apparent in the new decade.

Today we are going to share our expectations for 2010, which has chances to be better than its predecessor for the economy. Still, the biggest winners will hardly be hardware companies. Online content sellers are going to see dramatic growth in their businesses, electronic books, video games, music and movies will all be in demand thanks to development of the Internet.

Let’s see, what we can expect from 2010.


E-Book Readers’ Market Set to Explode

The Sumerians used clay tablets to write on sometimes back 5500 years ago, the ancient Egyptians used papyrus around the same time before present, paper has been used for about 1900 years and electronic screens have been seriously competing with paper for about 15 years now. But will electronic books replace paper books after over 550 years of their dominance?

The first electronic book readers were launched back in 1998. They were bulky, they could not store a lot of information, their battery life was short and there were not a lot of e-books available in general. Sony Corp. presented its Libriè e-book reader with e-ink screen for Japanese market only in 2004, six years after the first-generation e-book readers emerged and about two years before the firm unveiled its Reader family for the rest of the world. The new-generation electronic book readers were thinner, lighter, sported higher capacities, longer battery life and there were more electronic books available on the market. However, it looks like only in 2010 the e-book readers will finally gain strong market acceptance.

By early 2010 two large sellers of books – Amazon and Barnes & Noble companies – have introduced their own electronic book reader devices that are available for around $300, quite a large sum of money. However, those devices have tangible advantage: new books can be acquired anywhere wirelessly and without need to go anywhere or wait for delivery. In addition, electronic books are cheaper compared to hard-back bestsellers.

Based on unofficial information, there are at least ten of high-tech companies looking forward to enter e-book reader market in 2010, among which are Apple, Asustek Computer, Lenovo Group, MicroStar International (MSI) and a number of others. Obviously, with competition on the market of e-book readers intensifying, the price war is inevitable and it looks like in the second half of the year there will be available e-book readers rapidly gaining market share.

With the increased amount of electronic book readers services that will distribute electronic books will also emerge. The question here is whether traditional book sellers have huge advantages over newcomers or there will still be a competition between them. The content owners would obviously like to keep the price of a single bestseller book at around $10/€10, which may make sense in the U.S., but which does not make any sense in Eastern Europe region, where a new hardback paper book costs about the same amount of money. Moreover, in order to target those markets makers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony will have to add support for Cyrillic and other fonts.

In any case, the year 2010 there will finally be the rise of the e-books. Electronic books will still trail paper books, but their market will increase dramatically this year.

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