Global shipments of e-readers will reach two million units in the first quarter of 2012 — down dramatically from nine million shipped in Q4 2011, according to new data from Digitimes Research.
It appears that color tablets, including the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet and Nook Color, are luring eReader customers away from less expensive, less flashy e-ink models. Digitimes Research calls the phenomenon a “substitution effect,” one that has forced Amazon to reduce orders of e-ink eReaders from its suppliers thus far in 2012.
The big-picture view of the eReader market isn’t dire, however. Global shipments of eReaders climbed to 22.82 million units in 2011 — up 107 percent from a year earlier. And annual eReader shipments should exceed 60 million units by 2015, Digitimes Research estimates.
There’s only one company that knows the truth.
And it’s not Amazon.