When they were first seen back in 2007-2008, E-readers were the next “in” thing. The first generation Kindle from Amazon sold out in just five and a half hours and Amazon was unable to replenish its supplies for the next five months! A lot of water has flown under the bridge since then. First, Apple came up with the iPhone (which wasn’t really an issue for them E-readers). They then followed up with the iPad in 2010 and boy! Has that changed the equation?

Are E-Readers Dying a Slow Death?

We have a report coming in from IHS iSuppli called the Consumer Electronics Special Report, that says that e-reader shipments peaked in 2011 with 23.2 million units.  However, after that, it has been on a steady downfall with 2012 shipments expected to drop by a massive 36 per cent to just 14.9 million units. If this wasn’t enough, IHS analysts project that by 2016, this figure will drop to just 7.1 million units which would be “equivalent to a loss of more than two-thirds of its peak volume in 2011.” as IHS puts it.

This is a very peculiar scenario according to Jordan Selburn, a senior principal analyst covering consumer platforms at IHS. He said that it is unusual to see a rapid growth of a new consumer platform and its sudden collapse.

The sudden fall in the sales figures for e-readers is being blamed on the rising popularity of tablets which offer the users a whole bunch of other usability options PLUS the ability to access e-books on a single device. With Android tablets too catching up on the popularity front, the humble e-reader seems to be in real trouble.

However, some analysts believe that E-Readers would continue to thrive – but would sell in much lower numbers and that a market would always be around for them. Do you think E-Readers would still be around in say – 2018?

[Via ZDNet]

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  • Rich

    I think they will as long as E-ink maintains its battery life lead over LCD screens. Also E-readers are probably a longer lifespan purchase. Once you have one there is little compelling reason to upgrade to a new model. Maybe for color e-ink, but even then that is more useful for reading magazines which in my case I prefer in paper form(when I’m finished it gets passed on in the break room at work)