Rupert Murdoch

The e-reader has been mooted as one of the potential saviours of the newspaper industry, whose revenues have slumped from the collapse of advertising revenue. Early movers have already signed e-reader deals. Amazon said yesterday it offers 85 global newspapers and magazines on a single-purchase basis or subscription.

Titles include The Independent, The New York Times and the Washington Post. Rupert Murdoch (below), chief executive of News Corporation, said earlier this year he was looking at
e-readers and rumours have circulated that he may be in talks with electronics groups over potentially launching one of his own. Allen Weiner, analyst at Gartner, said: "The problem is newspapers do not work well on the e-reader, and it will probably be a year before they do. Papers aren't like books; they aren't linear. They aren't great for a black and white device with limited search capabilities."

But with the growth of the e-paper market expected to rise to $9bn from $100m in less than a decade, according to the market researchers DisplaySearch, newspapers will continue to look at the format.

Neil Jones, chief executive of Interead, which makes Cool-er e-readers, said the arrival of the Kindle in the UK "will have a positive effect in increasing the general consumer awareness of the e-book technology".