Amazon is widely rumored to be releasing a new version of its Kindle e-reader next week, and the e-book industry appears to be growing, Fortune reports. Sony is pushing its own device, Google has opened up access to millions of books online and for download to mobile devices like the iPhone, and other manufacturers are expected to introduce tablets similar to the Kindle soon.
Sales of e-book readers jumped 235% from 2007 to 2008 according to one industry group, which reports that 538,000 of the devices were sold last year. Titles available for the Kindle have increased 67% to 230,000 books. Some analysts predict that 16% of US households will own an e-reader by 2011, although one observer thinks it’s a niche product for mobile professionals.