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eReader Global Market Grew by 33 Percent in 2011

The evolving media tablet product segment has become a dynamic landscape since its inception about three years ago. In fact, there are currently more than 220 models in the marketplace from a variety of vendors.

While the Apple iPad remains the brand leader in the media tablet segment, the market awareness has paved the way for more and more device manufacturers to enter the marketplace -- especially in the lower price product category.

The market for sub-$400 media tablets is expected to see significant growth over the next five years, occupying more than 60 percent of the market share by 2016, while the market for the over $400 segment is expected to shrink.

According to Jeff Orr, group director, consumer research at ABI Research, "The majority of new entrant media tablet models have been in the sub-$400 segment that focuses on growth markets like India and China. The strong wave of growth in this segment over the next few years is expected to be driven by the adoption in emerging markets."

Wide aspect display media tablets -- that's nine inches and above -- are still favored in the market and accounted for more than 75 percent of the total media tablet volume in 2011, which is mostly attributed to the Apple iPad 2.

That being said, the trend in coming years is expected to be inclined toward display sizes between seven and nine inches as smaller-sized media tablets provide better portability options for end-users.

eReader Devices Continue to Gain Market Share

No longer considered an inferior consumer electronics product category to the more high-profile media tablets, eReaders are also on an accelerated growth track, with more than 30 models currently available by major vendors.

2011 has seen a healthy 33 percent growth in the eReader market overall -- and the global market upside for total shipments is projected to grow at over 20 percent in 2012.

Availability of competing models increases options for consumers and will help to boost eReader adoption. However, the slower pace of digital content creation -- available in local languages -- will be the key market inhibitor for further adoption of eBook Readers, as well as media tablets, within the emerging markets.

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