Increasing availability of free e-books on the Internet coupled with a shift in preference among tech savvy users from traditional books to portable electronic reading devices is expected to drive the e-readers market over the forecast period. Ability to read and manage purchased e-books in the cloud is expected to favorably impact market growth. Increased usage of smart phones, tablets, and phablets is expected to be conducive for the e-readers market growth over the next seven years.
Students and business professionals who strive for enhanced reading experience are expected to generate substantial demand for e-books, as a result of which marketers usually target this segment to generate maximum impact. Advancements in battery technology aimed at increasing battery longevity have significantly encouraged e-readers usage. Development of enhanced display technologies for alleviating readability is expected to play a pivotal role in e-readers being considered as attractive prospects and substitutes for traditional books. With Internet connectivity, e-readers provide users an option to search the meaning of complex words or comprehend foreign languages. Some e-readers are also equipped with an offline dictionary, thereby easing the process of word look-up. Although e-readers are not expected to completely replace traditional books in the foreseeable future, increased portability and growing awareness pertaining to saving paper are projected to drive the e-readers market.
Eye strain caused by constant exposure to the screen may inhibit e-readers usage as users may opt for traditional books instead of their electronic counterparts. As several hardware and software components constitute an e-reader, the possibility of e-readers being rendered inaccessible due to malfunctioning components may deter customers from purchasing these devices. Availability of cheaper tablets and phablets is expected to considerably hamper market growth as these devices offer other features besides supporting e-books, thereby reducing the possibility of users opting to purchase a primitive e-book reader. However, the presence of several customers unwilling to spend extra on purchasing tablets is expected to keep the e-readers market buoyant over the forecast period.
Fuelled by high demand from the U.S., North America is expected to emerge as a key regional market. Increasing sales in China and growing popularity in India is expected to play a pivotal role in Asia Pacific shaping up as a lucrative market.
Key players in the e-readers market include Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ectaco, Bookeen, Kobo, News Corporation, Sony Corporation, and Plastic Logic Limited. Increasing competition among market players is expected to result in lower prices, thereby providing opportunities for the e-reader market growth over the next seven years. Companies such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon which also offer touchscreen tablets are not expected to be as impacted by the surge in demand for tablets as standalone e-book readers manufacturing companies such as Kobo.
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