Steve Jobs, speaking with the New York Times in 2008 about Amazon’s then-new Kindle:
“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”
Jobs was being hyperbolic; it’s more like people don’t just read anymore. But he wasn’t wrong — here’s Monica Anderson of the Pew Research Center:
Today, about one-in-five adults (19%) report owning an e-reader, while in early 2014 that share was a third (32%). […] These changes are all taking place in a world where smartphones are transforming into all-purpose devices that can take the place of specialized technology, such as music players, e-book readers and gaming devices.
The smartphone is truly the ultimate convergence device, at least for today and the foreseeable future. Smartwatches, tablets, and even computers are peripheral. (Pew’s survey also says that tablet ownership is climbing, albeit at a rate slower than a couple of years ago.)