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Boom in eBook sales predicted by Sony

21 June 2010 - 10:33 by Mike Price

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Online retailers such as Amazon could reap the benefits of the growing market for eBooks, as the sales of digitally downloadable novels and factual publications are set to outstrip the sale of printed books within five years, according to Sony.

Sony says that it is basing its predictions for eBook market expansion on the way in which music downloads leapt skywards when portable media players and services such as iTunes became ubiquitous.

By the year 2015 the majority of content will be sold online and a significant proportion will be digitally delivered, with physical products taking a back seat, according to Sony's Steve Haber in an interview with the Telegraph.

Amazon's Kindle eReader is one of the most popular gadgets with many people using it to view eBooks. The Kindle also has the ability to browse the Amazon catalogue and download titles wirelessly without the need for a PC to act as an intermediary. However, competition in this market is fierce and Sony, as one of Amazon's major rivals, is hoping to capitalise on what it expects to be a growth industry.

Shopping online for eBooks has many advantages over buying physical copies of titles from your local bookshop, as Amazon's Kindle and its contemporaries can store works from thousands of your favourite authors and can last for days on a single battery charge.

The eBook market has its own risks, with safe shopping online threatened by malicious cybercriminals who produce eBooks claiming to contain popular novels whilst secretly harbouring a virus or spyware tool which can have a negative impact on the user's PC.

It was recently revealed that a large number of people were being affected by a virus distributed in illegally downloaded copies of the popular Twilight series and, as always, consumers are urged to only seek downloads from reputable online retailers in order to avoid similar threats and to ensure safe shopping online.