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Ereader Shipments on the Rise

Millions still buying single-purpose ereaders

November 8, 2012

Tablets have taken off, slowing adoption rates for single-use devices like ereaders, but sales of the e-ink devices are continuing to grow.

The Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC) projected in early November that, after a worldwide decline in shipments this year, the ereader market will bounce back in 2013 with 18.2 million units shipped. The firm expected the US to take the largest share of this market. By 2016, 23 million ereaders will ship worldwide.

eMarketer estimates that in the US, growth in ereader penetration will slow sharply beginning this year, when 19% of the adult population will use one at least monthly. By 2015, that share will inch up only as far as 23%, when 56.9 million adults will use ereaders.

MIC noted that ereading is more common than the penetration of ereaders suggests—for example, more people around the world use their smartphones to read books and other long-form content than use single-purpose ereaders.

Other data shows that smartphones and tablets are both popular for ebook reading. Nielsen found that in Q1 2012 12% of US smartphone users read books on those devices, compared with 46% who used their tablets for ebook reading. Similarly, a July 2012 survey by Mr. Youth indicated that 25% of US college students who owned smartphones used them to read ebooks, compared with 58% of college student tablet owners who used those devices for book reading.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Measuring the Fat Fingers Problem” and “In Western Europe, Rich Media Will Make Greatest Display Gains.”


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