More words of wisdom from Steve Haber, president of Sony's digital reading business division: "Within five years there will be more digital content sold than physical content. Three years ago, I said within ten years but I realised I was wrong – it's within five years."
He predicted that we would see the same patterns in book distribution as we have already experienced in the digitisation of music and photography. Sony believes that the eBook market has now passed the point of no return. Said Haber: "I have multiple meetings with publishers and tell them paradigm shifts happen. You can say fortunately or unfortunately you haven't had a paradigm shift in, what, hundreds of years." He added: "We in the consumer electronics area have a paradigm shift every year or two."
I have felt for a long time that the advantages of digital books will propel eReaders to the fore and I cannot argue with Haber's logic that we will see the big revolution within the next five years. Of course, readers are generally a conservative lot and will need prising from their dead-tree books, but I now think that Haber's paradigm shift in publishing is unstoppable.