Gartner: eReader Devices Stupid Popular, Tablets Still a Threat

Paul Lilly

It looks as though the recent price war that erupted in the eBook reader market has been doing the segment a world of good. According to market research firm Gartner, worldwide connected eReader sales will add up to 6.6 million units by the end of the year, nearly an eight-fold increase from one year ago.

""The connected e-reader market has grown dramatically during the past two years, driven by sales of Amazon's e-readers, primarily in North America. This is the dominant region for e-reader sales, and we predict that it will account for sales of just over 4 million units in 2010," said Hugues De La Vergne, principal research analyst at Gartner. North America will remain a key market through 2014, although its dominance will decline significantly as regions such as Western Europe and Asia/Pacific become the leading locations for growth. Growth in North American and other markets will remain constrained by the success of media tablets, such as the Apple iPad."

Gartner defines an eReader device as any portable gadget that uses E-Ink, e-paper, or similar display technology, and says that they're "at risk of commodization due to developments in adjacent markets, such as those for media tablets." And while Gartner notes eReaders have "carved out a solid niche" in large part because of their portability and battery life, the research firm maintains that "cannibalization by media tablets represents the biggest threat to eReaders."

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