According to Taiwan-based MIC (Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute), an ICT industry research institute, due to the impact of tablets and channel distributors' high inventory levels in North America, it is projected that the global e-reader shipment will post a year on year 35% decline in 2012. Meanwhile, Europe, Japan, and emerging countries will become major markets to bolster e-reader sales worldwide in 2013. It is anticipated that the global e-reader shipment will reach around 18.2 million units in 2013 and top around 23.0 million units in 2016.
In regard to e-reader price range, since Amazon is the market leader and has dominance over the price of e-readers, major branded vendors in North America set their products' price plans similar to Amazon's Kindle lineup. In 2013, MIC predicts that the mainstream e-reader products will be priced at around US$100; value line models between US$50 and US$100; mid-range and high-end models between US$100 and US$200.
Observing the regional e-reader markets around the world, MIC reckons that the United States will remain the largest market, followed by Europe, Japan, and China. The development of e-reader is highly correlated to the number of local e-books published and e-book sales. According to MIC, the number of users reading e-books via mobile phones is higher than that of reading e-books via e-readers.
However, the emergence of low-priced tablets such as Amazon's low-priced Kindle Fire, has posed a threat to e-readers, as their diverse functions and low prices have grabbed consumers' attention. Meanwhile, e-reader vendors are still having the difficulty in breaking ground on the development of e-paper color and motion display technologies. Since e-readers place a higher value on functionality than fashionable industrial design, consumers are less likely to buy new models due to new industrial designs. Without the strong replacement demand, the global e-reader market development is expected to be challenging in the future.
More information can be found in the following MIC report:
Worldwide E-reader Market 2012 Recap and 2013 Forecast
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Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC), based in Taipei, Taiwan, was founded in 1987. MIC is Taiwan's premier IT industry research and consulting firm providing intelligence, in-depth analysis, and strategic consulting services on global IT product and technology trends, focusing on markets and industries in Asia-Pacific. MIC is part of the Institute for Information Industry. http://mic.iii.org.tw/english