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Roughly 1.2m Kindles were given as gifts this Christmas, according to data from YouGov, meaning that one in every 40 British adults either gave or received Amazon’s e-reader as a present.

In total 1.33m e-readers were given away, with Kindles swallowing up 92% of the market share.

In line with the demographics of book purchasing in the UK, 61% of Kindles were received by women, with over 55 year olds twice as likely as 18-24 year olds to receive one.

Marek Vaygelt, head of technology and telecoms consulting at YouGov, explains.

About a year and a half ago we did some detailed pricing analysis which showed that the Kindle had to drop below £120 before it really took off. It's now down to £89 and it's reached a point where people are really buying it in large numbers."

He said the boom in sales was price driven, but the Amazon branding and the number of distribution points were also key factors.

You can buy a Kindle anywhere now. Someone was telling me it is by the tills in John Lewis where they normally keep things like chocolate, so it's got to the point where it is a consumer product and that has really driven it forward."

Tablet devices were also a popular present idea this Christmas - 640,000 tablets were gifted to adults and it will come as no surprise that the iPad dominated the market (72%).

Londoners had the greatest likelihood of receiving an iPad but were least likely to have received a Kindle, although other e-reader brands were relatively more successful in the capital.

YouGov surveyed 2,012 adults between December 28, 2011 and January 3, 2012. 

David Moth

Published 4 January, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (1)

Jason Glover

Jason Glover, Online Marketing Manager at Virgin Media Business

I've had a Kindle for over a year now and I bought my wife one of the lastest models this Christmas. It's one of the best tech gadgets I've ever used as it really does fundamentally improve my reading experience.

Although I previously rarely bought novels in stores and preferred to use Amazon, being able to get a new book immediately (well, within a few seconds) is fantastic. I also find that I read more than I used to because I can also sync books with the Kindle app on my iPhone so can read wherever I am (very handy when waiting for my wife outside of dressing rooms in shops). :-)

It's difficult to see how the likes of Waterstones can compete with this change, certainly with brick and mortar stores. But I will still be very sad to book stores vanish from our streets forever as I still like to browse in them when out. Sadly though, surely the demise of book stores (and eventually libraries, too) is inevitable now.

over 4 years ago

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