Dedicated eReaders to Survive the Media Tablet Onslaught as a Niche Play

Analyst Blog

Aug. 30, 2012, 10:17 a.m.
Jeff Orr, Senior Practice Director Joshua Flood, Senior Analyst

Eleven million eReaders are projected to be shipped globally in 2012, down from a peak volume of 15 million devices in 2011. The growing popularity of media tablets - along with declining U.S. "baby boomer" population and lack of organized digital bookstores outside of the United States and Western Europe - will reduce eReader opportunities in the future.

Over the next 5 years, annual eReader shipments are projected to drop by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1%. In contrast, global media tablet shipments are predicted to increase from approximately 102 million annual device shipments in 2012 to nearly 250 million in 2017. Despite the average tablet selling for more than $465 as a result of Apple's dominant market position, tablets are expected to outsell eReaders nine to one this year.

There are several reasons for the growing popularity of the tablet device. Users are able to utilize a better computing platform and device performance on a tablet compared to an eReader. Tablets are versatile and support a broader range of display applications while eReaders are primarily used for reading print. Apple and Google have spent billions of dollars in developing operating systems and providing a better user experience for their media tablets. Most eReaders are still using basic Linux operating systems.

For more information on ABI Research's recent study and service on eReaders, digital publishing, media tablets, and mobile enabling device technologies, please click here .