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Why Media Tablet and eReader Demand Will Coexist

Many analysts predicted the demise of the e-reader product category when Apple launched the iPad -- igniting the media tablet competitor frenzy. The analysts assumption, an erroneous one, was that the buyer of each product was essentially the same.

Now, as the reality sets in, opinions have evolved. While the tablet market’s growth has had some impact on expected e-reader shipments worldwide, the two devices are inherently different. Each device segment targets a different type of consumer.

Standalone e-reader devices target the avid book and periodical readers -- to whom the reading experience is central -- while tablets are targeted towards those consumers who prefer a richer multimedia consumption experience.

According to the latest market study by In-Stat, device component vendors are benefiting from the demand in both categories. As an example, they're forecasting that the combined semiconductor opportunity for media tablets and e-readers will approach $16 billion by 2015.

“There is a continued revenue opportunity for e-reader OEMs over the next five years, especially as price points drop to extremely affordable levels,” says Stephanie Ethier, Senior Analyst at In-Stat.

For tablets, market drivers such as new market entrants, increasing tablet application availability, and declining prices, will have a profound impact. These factors will fuel unit shipment growth to over 720 percent over the forecast period.

In-Stat's insights on survey data findings include:
  • In 2012, over 15 million e-readers will ship in the US. market.
  • Over 60 percent of future media tablet purchasers plan to buy a tablet equipped with both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.
  • By 2015, 15 percent of all tablet shipments are expected to go into business markets.

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