Figures from ABI Research reveal that 11 million eBook readers are expected to be shipped worldwide this year, down from last year’s total of 15 million devices. And despite the average tablet device selling for much more than an eReader, media tablets are expected to outsell eReaders 9 to 1 in 2012.
Annual eReader shipments are projected to drop during the next five years by a compound annual growth rate of 6.1%, while tablet shipments are predicted to increase from around 102 million devices this year to nearly 250 million in 2017.
However, ABI Research believes there’ll always be a niche market for dedicated reading devices despite sales being adversely affected by the growing popularity of media tablets, the declining US baby boomer population and a lack of organised digital bookstores in many countries.
It points out that e-paper displays offer advantages over LCD technology, while eReaders cost much less than entry-level tablets.