Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
12/9/2010
10:16 AM
50%
50%

E-Reader Sales Climb 80%

Gartner says 6.6 million of the digital devices will be sold this year, even as competition from media tablets like the iPad grows.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Teardown
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Samsung Galaxy Tab Teardown
Global sales of electronic readers, the portable devices with digital paper displays that appeal to avid book readers, are expected to rise by nearly 80% this year, a market research firm says.

Sales will total 6.6 million units, compared to 3.6 million units last year, Gartner reported Wednesday. While sales will slow a bit next year, e-reader manufacturers are still expected to sell 11 million units, an increase of 68.3%.

Most of the sales over the last two years have occurred in North America, which is expected to remain a key market through 2014. Roughly two-thirds of e-reader sales this year were in the region. In time, North America's dominance will wane as sales increase in Western Europe and the Asia/Pacific region, Gartner says.

The leading e-reader vendors today are Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Sony. That may change in the future as low-cost devices subsidized by content owners, such as book or magazine publishers, hit the market.

E-reader makers in general have carved out a solid niche in the consumer electronics market, due to their portability, long battery life, solid display technology for reading books, and relatively inexpensive retail prices. Because most of the devices do not have color screens, they are expected to face tough competition from media tablets, such as the Apple iPad. Such devices offer a better visual experience when displaying newspapers and magazines.

Some market researchers have already seen e-reader sales in the U.S. diminished by Apple's iPad. ChangeWave Research this month reported that Amazon's Kindle saw its share fall 15 percentage points to 47% of the market from Aug. 1 to Nov. 8, while the iPad rose 16 percentage points to 32%.

To grow their niche, e-reader vendors will need to target avid readers with devices that remain less expensive than full-featured tablets. This will mean smaller profits for manufacturers. "We think few end users will buy both an e-reader and a media tablet, so it is important that e-readers retain a price advantage," Gartner analyst Allen Weiner, says in a statement.

SEE ALSO:

Kindle Rapidly Losing Share To iPad

Asus Launches Notepad E-Reader

E-Reader Buyer's Guide

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
InformationWeek Live For the Week of January 25, 2015
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.