The rapid rise of tablets is driving the e-book reader market to an equally rapid fall, according to a new study.
IHS iSuppli said that after "spectacular" growth during the past few years, the e-book reader market is now on an "alarmingly precipitous decline," all thanks to the growing popularity of tablets.
How alarming? Well, the firm predicts that shipments of e-book readers will tumble 36 percent this year to 14.9 million units and then drop another "drastic" 27 percent next year to 10.9 million units. By 2016, IHS iSuppli predicts, the e-book reader market will total just 7.1 million units, equal to a loss of more than two-thirds from its peak volume in 2011.
According to Jordan Selburn, senior principal analyst for consumer platforms at IHS iSuppli:
The rapid growth -- followed by the immediate collapse -- of the ebook reader market is virtually unheard of, even in the volatile consumer electronics space, where products have notoriously short life cycles. The stunning rise and then blazing flameout of ebooks perfectly encapsulate what has become an axiomatic truth in the industry: Single-task devices like the ebook reader are being replaced without remorse in the lives of consumers by their multifunction equivalents, in this case by media tablets.
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