e-Readers have really hit it big in 2011 and have seen over 27.1 million e-ink devices sold in the retail sphere. During the course of 2010, only 13 million were sold and this year they are up by 208%.
Many people thought e-readers were a flash in the pan and would not garner mainstream acceptance. Industry analysts at the beginning of the year were heralding 2011 as the year of the tablet, and that e-readers would not be able to keep up the momentum in the marketplace.
iSupply recently did a study on e-readers and tablets in the market and had this to say: “The strong growth this year arises from a relentless marketing push and attractive pricing by ebook reader brands in order to promote sales of the devices. However, in the face of stiff competition from color-display tablets like Apple Inc.’s iPad, sales growth of ebook readers and displays will slow in the coming years. Display shipment growth next year, for instance, will drop by two-thirds to 37 percent based on projected shipments of 37.1 million units, as shown in the figure below. In 2015, the market will suffer a decline in shipments. This will prompt ebook reader makers to seek new markets and adopt color display alternatives to freshen up their product offerings.”
“Ebook readers have made great inroads among consumers following their introduction a few years ago, exemplified by the success of the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook,” said Vinita Jakhanwal, senior manager for small and medium displays at IHS. “However, ebook readers’ monochrome displays are being challenged today by the vibrant color displays of tablet devices like the iPad. Ebook readers can increase their appeal by adding color displays and by focusing on vertical markets like education.”