are bracing for an upcoming onslaught of tablets and e-readers being rolled out
in the next few months -- from the likes of RIM, HTC, LG,
to name a few. And these new devices aren't hitting the market without good
reason -- the demand is there.
According to a
report from market research company IMS Research, Q4 2010 e-reader
shipments, which totaled 5.1 million units worldwide, were up 90 percent over
the previous quarter -- a 116-percent increase over the same period of 2009.
Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's NOOK performed particularly well, with
B&N overtaking Sony at second place in the e-reader market.
While the numbers for e-readers are certainly impressive, they were
overshadowed by tablets' worldwide performance. "Thanks to strong
iPad holiday sales and significant sell-in of the Samsung Galaxy Tab,"
tablet sales rose 124 percent from quarter to quarter, to 9.4 million
units in Q4 2010.
And the success of both types of devices is predicted to continue. IMS Research
forecasts 146-percent growth for e-readers in 2011, thanks to falling prices
and new features such as touch and color screens. Tablets, on the other hand,
are expected to grow 242 percent, to 58 million units on the year.
As we reported previously, tablet growth has already begun to
cut into demand for PCs. This trend is set to continue, with tablets
representing 23 percent of the portable PC market, up from just 8 percent in