Even though there are a lot of talks about the popularity of electronic books, it looks like actual shipments of e-book readers were not truly high in 2009. Considering that shipments of electronic paper displays (EPD) totaled five million units last year, it may be estimated that shipments of e-book readers are more or less equal.
“Seeing this growth for a new application, especially in the second half of last year, is a vote of confidence from consumers who seem to have embraced e-books. Momentum from e-book popularity last year combined with new, larger-screen products hitting the market right now means that this trend will continue, so we will see large shipment volume increases in the first half of 2010,” said Hiroshi Hayase, DisplaySearch director of small/medium displays.
Market tracking firm Display Search claims that the popularity of e-book readers, particularly Amazon’s Kindle, drove shipments of EPDs to 5 million units in 2009, up 417% from 950 thousand in 2008. Amazon’s Kindle e-book, with a 6” display, captured 66% of the total EPD market in 2009. This market domination is expected to increase as the Kindle DX gains traction.
“Boosted by success from e-books thus far, Amazon is expanding its service offering to help customers access more timely books at low cost. We expect to see other service providers increase their presence in the U.S. and expand e-book adoption in Europe and Asia as well,” Mr. Hayase added.