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November 2, 2009

Corporate Business Gifts – Will E-Readers Be The Top Tech Gifts This Christmas?

E-Readers which are also called digital or electronic readers, lets users wirelessly download books and read them on hand-held devices resembling a glorified etch-a-sketch. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but these handy little digital readers have become extremely popular; according to a recent Time article, Amazon has already sold 1.7 million of the Kindle E-Reader since it was introduced in 2007.

And according to the same article, the Association of American Publishers states total revenue from digital-book downloads has risen 149% this year, while they estimate e-book readers sales to top 3 million by Dec. 31. Plus, according to Forrester Research around 1 million of these gadgets could be sold this holiday season, and sales in 2010 are projected to double, to 6 million.

“The year 2009 is a breakout year for e-readers,” says Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst with Forrester Research. “But we’re still in the early stages.”

Those make for very impressive numbers and it could point to E-Readers as “the” hot Christmas gift this Holiday Season; at least where tech gadgets are concerned. Given its well received features and programs, an E-Reader could make for an excellent corporate business gift, especially if you could brand them with your company logos and stream them with your company’s newsletters and RSS feeds.

Then we also have the recent launch of the NOOK from Barnes & Noble which will give the Amazon Kindle some competition. The Nook has a 6-inch paper-like display which uses a 16-level grayscale that can support up to five fonts. You can use it to read PDFs, in addition to over 1 million books, newspapers and magazines available in Barnes & Noble’s eBook store. The Nook is currently priced at around $260.

How is it different from the Kindle: besides the flashy color icons, designer cases and color customizable back panel; the Nook does have some nice features such as a virtual bookmark called Reading Now that lets you pick up where you left off reading on the Nook, and it has Wi-Fi radio which customers can use at 700 Barnes & Noble’s locations and at 600 college stores in 50 states. There’s enough memory for holding 1,500 books (2 GB) and there’s a microSD slot which could give you another 16 GB more.

But this holiday season, gift buyers (corporate or otherwise) will have many more E-Readers to choose from other than the Kindle and the Nook. Where there’s a profit to be made, other companies will follow. Just like when Asustek invented the category of Netbook with its ASUS Eee-PC in 2007, other laptop makers and sellers quickly jumped on the bandwagon and the marketplace was flooded with netbooks or mini-laptops.

This recent trend towards E-Readers will prove no different; take for example Sony, who introduced the first electronic reader way back in 2004, will be introducing three new devices according to the Time’s article. The Sony Reader will have a Pocket Edition ($199), sporting a 5-inch-diagonal screen, Touch Edition ($299) which will be touchscreen-equipped and the Daily Edition ($399), which will feature wireless capability.

Asus is also entering the E-Reader market with a product called the Eee-reader which should be on the market for Christmas. Then there is the Fujitsu FLEPia which is the only commercially available E-Reader which has a color display. It’s only available in Japan and costs around $1,100. Ouch!

For the more modest consumer, the Irex Digital Reader will be hitting U.S. stores this month, October 2009. The DR800 will have an 8.1-in. touchscreen with wireless connectivity and will sell for $90 less than the similarly sized Kindle DX, which will set you back around $489. This is the price at the time of writing, expect those prices to drop as competition heats up.

On the horizon, there are many different versions of the e-reader that will hit the market. There is even a fold up model which will open like a book and another one called the Polymer Vision Readius which is also a phone but it has a flexible screen that folds up around the phone to make it extra portable.

Then we have the looming debut of Apple’s fabled iTablet which could be a game changer in the whole E-Reader arena. It could also be a Kindle or Nook Killer given Apple’s enormous popularity with tech savvy consumers who only want the latest gadget on the market.

One really has to question why all this popularity for the E-Reader, especially since we already have the small portable netbook on the market, which can be easily used for reading books. More specifically, we already have Tablet PCs which could easily fulfill this reading function. Granted they may be slightly larger, but they also offer all the features of a laptop, so why not just convert/use this device as an E-Reader?

Regardless, the E-Reader seems to be gearing up to be a top tech gift this holiday season. The perfect gift for family members, friends and employees alike… especially for the book-reading fanatics in your family or company. E-Readers are also the ideal gifts for those who simply must have the latest and newest tech gadget on the market.

For the latest corporate gift ideas and a handy Amazon gift-organizer try here: Corporate Business Gifts For Timely Special Savings/Deals/Coupons on Corporate Gifts…click here:
Executive Business Gifts Copyright 2009 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.