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Analyst: Tablets to Outsell E-readers

Tablets that serve multiple purposes are going to see tremendous growth according to UK analyst firm Informa Telecoms and Media, as consumers choose them over dedicated e-readers such as Amazon’s (s amzn) Kindle. Tablet sales are projected to hit 50 million by 2014, a whopping increase of over 1200 percent over the 3.65 million to be sold this year.

Tablets based on the Android (s goog) operating system are showing in the IFA in Germany this week, and the Informa analysts predict the tablet category, kick-started by Apple’s (s aapl) iPad, will grab consumer’s dollars. These devices will serve multiple purposes, such as web surfing and social networking, that add value over the single-purpose e-readers. Most significantly, these tablets can read the same e-books as the dedicated e-readers from Amazon, Barnes & Noble (s bks) and Borders (s bgp) via apps that are already available for Android, iPhone and the iPad, eliminating the need for a dedicated e-reader.

Though some e-readers have integrated mobile broadband, that feature is limited, for the most part, to buying and downloading e-books. Tablets can use the data connection to do many things normally done on bigger computers. This is why mobile operators will be bringing tablets into product lineups, and device subsidies that are common to such offerings will bring the cost to consumers down to the e-reader level.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Irrational Exuberance Over E-Books?

4 Responses to “Analyst: Tablets to Outsell E-readers”

  1. I wouldn’t be surprised if sales of tablets exceed e-readers. More people like to browse the web and view videos than read books. Big shocker there. Furthermore, tablets can replace the netbook in almost every situation, and could become the only computer needed by many people. An e-reader isn’t for general computing. Never has been.

    Why do people make these stupid comparisons? Do you compare computer sales to mp3 player sales? Both can play your music library. But it’s non-sense. Comparing computers/tablets to e-readers is exactly the same because e-readers are just mp3 players for books.

    • You fail to comment on the fact that a freaking netbook/laptop is an ereader, computer, mp3 player, etc etc etc. Last time I check typing on a tablet wasn’t exactly ideal for productivity.

      I really don’t think you get the bottom line. People don’t exactly have money to throw around on a device which fills a void which doesn’t actually exist providing they have either a laptop/netbook and or a smartphone. It’s called…get ready for it…..overlap. Packing around 2 or 3 devices that can do the same tasks.

      I love these prediction stories. I predict that… the sun will set today! I predict that… people will carry a tablet and a smartphone plus a stand and keyboard attachment and leave their laptops at home. I predict that…. people will use their tablets at home instead of their computers. blah blah.

  2. What a load of rubbish. 98% of consumers make purchases based on the bottom line. 98% of those people have a computer at home. Ereaders have two massive differences.

    One – Their battery life.
    Two – Their cheap price.

    Want to surf the web? Use your damn computer. It’s not hard to figure out. Are people this lazy? No.

    Here is what is going to happen. There are 15% of the population who are geeks and geeks with a lot of extra money. They will account for this “surge” early. That will die off after a few months because everyone else will say, what’s the point of that thing? I have a laptop. I have a smartphone. I’m going to buy an ereader thanks.

    Let’s not get caught up in the geek haze. It clouds our vision of reality. 3D is huge also isn’t it? We all want it right? They are building everything 3D. That means we are buying that when it hits the market? That should be another example of “build it and they will come” failure.

    • Why would someone buy an E-Reader that can ONLY read books, when for a comparable price they can get a tablet device that can read books, play games, surf the web (most people will use this for social networking and watching YouTube videos), check your email, create and print documents – and more?
      Also, tablets are waaaaay lighter than laptops, and for most people who are just checking their email and updating their Facebook profiles, a tablet is more than enough.
      It doesn’t make any sense to buy an E-Reader when you can get so much more for your money with a tablet.