That Was Fast: eReaders Near Exit In Switzerland

It’s been a while since I’ve had a weekend free in downtown Lausanne. Yesterday I had a chance to do some shopping, and I decided to visit Payot to see how eReaders were doing since the last time I checked.

I went straight to the second floor where I had last seen eReaders on display in a glass case near the center of the store. I found the case not far away, but it was practically empty, and there were no eReaders. I walked around for a while and was about to conclude that Payot wasn’t offering eReaders at all anymore. Then I saw them. At the back of the store, beside the service desk, in a glass case behind a sofa where no one would ever notice.

eReader Case Payot with arrow

In fact, even if someone were looking for them, like I was, they wouldn’t have an easy time finding them. The case was just next to the emergency exit, ironically fitting, and since it was behind the sofa, it was difficult to see exactly what was inside. There were two models: a Cybook Opus, which was on sale for 99 Swiss Francs and a Cybook Odyssey with front light for CHF189. There were a total of about 4-5 readers in the case.

Not far away was a discount bin.


Discount Books

I walked around the store a bit to see if they had made any other changes. It was fairly busy, so that’s a good sign anyway. Aside from noticing prominent displays of “Cinquante Nuances” (“Fifty Shades”) in several locations, the only other thing that caught my eye was the games in the children’s department. These were mostly card or learning games and puzzles. I don’t remember seeing any games at the bookstore before, but then I don’t go to the children’s section that often.

Just over a year ago, I posted that eReaders seemed to be going mainstream after I noticed a prominent display with eight different models at the FNAC (one of the main electronics stores) in downtown Lausanne. After seeing the eReader display hidden away in Payot, I decided to see if they had fared any better at the FNAC.

The short answer is no. It took me a while to spot the lone model amongst the tablets on display: a Kobo ARC HD on offer for CHF204. Oddly enough there seemed to be about a half a dozen different types of Kobo cases for that one model. I did not see any other eReaders, and no eInk.

So much for eReaders in Switzerland.

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5 Responses to That Was Fast: eReaders Near Exit In Switzerland

  1. Kaz Augustin says:

    From all the reading I’ve done, it appears that the Swiss are notoriously conservative. Remember, these are the people who didn’t give women the vote till 1971. I’m sure given a few more decades, they’ll eventually move into the early twenty-first century.

    • laura says:

      I disagree. A year ago, there were eight models in the main electronics store here, 3/4 of which were eInk. Now there is one model and no eInk. The product didn’t sell. Is that because the Swiss are conservative? I’m not so sure. Mike Cane follows this topic closely from the US. In January he said, Say Goodbye To eInk Readers This Year. I think Switzerland is demonstrating that he was right.

      • Kaz Augustin says:

        Maybe it’s a function of geography. Here in s-e Asia, we are gadget-crazy. The new Samsung should be out soon and everyone here is in a tizzy about it. YET, whenever anyone mentions that they’re going to the US for a business trip, the #1 gadget friends & family plead for (and I mean that) is the Kindle Paperwhite!

        We carry Samsung smartphones, Apple iPads (well, not me, but lots of other people), and yet the population STILL want to buy eink readers! A little further afield, Swindon Books Hong Kong is doing a nice trade in Kobo ereaders as well.

      • laura says:

        Interesting. Thanks for sharing these observations.

  2. ric day says:

    Not too surprising, as e-ink readers seem to be on a downward curve almost everywhere. The Kindle Fire is currently listed at $159 in the US, which is not a big price jump from a $99-or-so e-ink reader. The iPad Mini seems to still be flying off the shelves at $229, too. I have a Kobo Touch (and an older Sony PRS-770) and only use the e-ink devices for production testing. A more powerful color tablet simply offers more use options.

    Unlike Kaz, my experience with family and friends in Southeast Asia (Hong Kong, China, Singapore, the Philippines) is that they all want iPads, large and small. My oldest sister-in-law (mid-70s) visited late last year, saw my wife’s iPad, tried it, and bought one the next day. A month later she told my wife she had bought another one for her husband, to stop him hijacking hers!

    The youngsters in the family in Asia all seem to have iPhones, too; our daughter spends hours on FaceTime with them.

    With the gap closing between colour and e-ink devices, I do think that e-ink’s time as an ereader display is ending. They are hard to find locally; a year ago they seemed to be everywhere.

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