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May 17, 2011

eReader Shipments To reach 27 million units by 2011

Forrester found that consumers value e-readers at “shockingly low” prices between $50 and $99. As of then, the analyst firm thought that there was a “substantial” market for e-readers, but only if prices plummeted.(source )

But “then” was before the iPad. Apple’s (AAPL) device has shown how strong tablet sales could be. A tablet can already act as an e-reader, and then provide a touch interface for annotation, to say nothing of more general communications and web surfing.
Demand for e-book readers remained strong in first-quarter 2011, with global shipments soaring 236% on year to 4.8 million units. Digitimes Research believes global e-book reader shipments will reach 27 million units in 2011.

Among the brand-name vendors, Amazon will continue to be the market leader with an 60% share of global shipments in 2011. Barnes & Noble may hold on to second place, but its gap with third-place Sony will narrow.

North America will remain the biggest market for e-book readers, accounting for 72% of global shipments, but growth in the area is slowing down. E-book reader vendors are now aggresively expanding their presence in the Europe market, which is registering higher-than-average growths.

Monotone e-book readers will remain the mainstream in the next three years, during which no breakthrough in developing color devices can be expected. Global e-book reader shipments will reach 63 million units by2014.