According to analysis by RR Bowker, the Kindle takes up 61% of the e-book market, Barnes & Noble's Nook holds 20% and Sony has 5%. The problem: The Kindle and its ilk are as one-dimensional as the paper tomes they're replacing.
Despite all of those readers snapping up Kindles, Nooks and other e-readers, Amazon and Barnes & Noble seem to know how this story will end. Both have developed e-reader applications for smartphones and the iPad, though both seem to know relying solely on those apps takes away their control over sales terms and their cut of the revenue. Since Amazon doesn't release sales numbers, it's hard to tell where the Kindle and e-readers as a whole are headed, but that new $139 price point make it just a bit easier to justify adding another gadget to the mix."Maslow's needs hierarchy ought to be changed to breathing, food, water and phones," Dulaney says. "If people can have hundreds of pairs of shoes in their closet, they can have multiple devices and they'll be cheap enough that they can." -- Reported by Jason Notte in Boston.