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E-reader sales set to soar by 38%

Jenny Williams

Sales of e-readers are expected to increase almost 40% and compete with tablet devices, according to a research firm.

The latest figures released by analyst IDC show 1.9 million e-readers were shipped in 2010 in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. IDC predicts this number will rise to 9.6 million by 2015.

Mario Lombardo, senior analyst at IDC EMEA, says e-readers are being purchased instead of media tablets.

"E-ink technology and long-lasting battery charge have proven to offer an appealing reading experience for avid readers in EMEA, which justifies the purchase of a specialised reading device instead of an LCD multifunctional device such as a media tablet," he said.

Lombardo says growth has been driven by the uptake of e-readers in the education sector.

"After successful initial trials, e-readers are being implemented in universities, schools, and public libraries across main European markets as an additional consultation tool for students and users," he said.

"Competition will undoubtedly increase as more big names such as Acer and Asus enter the market."

Close to six million media tablets shipped in EMEA in 2010, according to IDC. The analyst estimates that over 22 million tablets will be shipped in 2011 across the region.


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