Thursday, 29 October 2009 10:14

Kindle piques Aussie interest in ebooks

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While there's no indication yet of how many Australians have ordered a Kindle, there are signs of considerable interest.

Earlier this month, Amazon announced that the international version of the Kindle e-book reader would be offered in various countries including Australia.

According to web traffic monitor Hitwise, searches for 'kindle' shot up 300% to become the most common e-book related search term.

'kindle' hugely outstripped other terms such as 'sony reader', 'cybook', and 'iliad', Hitwise officials revealed.

The only term to come anywhere close was the generic 'ebooks', which appears to be more by people looking for content than hardware.

"eBooks.com was the leading website to receive traffic from 'ebooks', accounting for 47.76% of clicks, followed by e-book.com.au with 11.08% (4 weeks ending 17 October 2009)," said Sandra Hanchard, senior analyst at Hitwise Asia Pacific.

"Dymocks was the leading traditional retailer receiving search traffic on 'ebooks' (13th position overall), while Amazon.com ranked ahead at 8th position," she added.

Hitwise's analysis also suggests that many people were looking for free ebooks. There were roughly as many search terms that included the words 'free' and 'ebooks' as there were for 'ebooks' alone.

The announcement of the international Kindle was also followed by a pronounced spike in the incidence of searches for 'ebooks'.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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