Wednesday, May 27, 2009

50% of Kindle users are 50+ in age

A colleague with a lot of experience in the connected home space, Ken Stampe, made a comment on my Consumer Research, Technology and Generations entry regarding three headlines that seem to fly against the Generational Expectations perspective and I thought it would be best to bring those into the main discussion.

I think I need to clarify a bit. My perspective is not so much about specific generations, but that there are phases through which consumers move. In other words, Gen Yer’s are moving into the early stages of their adaptation experiences. They may look at Twitter and see a tool they can adapt to better text groups of friends, for example. So even though we know that the baseline set for Gen Y’s or Millennial’s is very technologically savvy, they will not continue to remain as open to embracing new technologies and change in general as they have been.

50% of Kindle users are 50+ in age

I really like the idea of Kindle although I can’t justify buying one myself. I think, so far at least, it is a tiny niche product. Cool and interesting? Sure, but adoption is limited and Amazon has been very quiet about sales. The headline that Ken referenced is pretty limited in accuracy by the approach - taking demographic info based on postings. So I can’t really suggest that the numbers are accurate. However, I think the comments about the posting do shed some light that support my perspective. Just to cite a couple that supported the skew to older consumers, several pointed out the ability to increase the font size for readability. While some of the other comments, perhaps made by young consumers, suggest the iPhone or even laptop as better alternatives. I think today’s Kindle could be a great “adaptive” technology example. Older consumers with sufficient funds and increased book consumption might be the core segment. That is until we see a generation that has an innate experience with e-books in their grade school classrooms and it becomes an expectation that books are in electronic format.

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