New Stats Find E-Reader Use Up 167%; E-Readers Under $100 By Holidays

Kindle stop-motion ad--actress Annie Little

If all you want for Christmas is a $99 e-reader, Santa is listening, according to research firm IDC. The company also finds e-reader shipments growing 167 percent year on year.

IDC bases its projections on e-readers “shipped into sales channels.” As we all know by now, Kindle and Nook don’t report their sales numbers. With that in mind, note that the company pegs the Kindle’s market share for Q2 2011 at 51.7 percent, with the Nook at 21.2 percent. (Barnes & Nobles CEO William Lynch most recently stated that the Nook’s market share was 27 percent.) A total of 5.4 million units were shipped during the period, the company says, with year-on-year growth so far at 167 percent.

IDC expects a total of 27 million e-reader units to be shipped in 2011, up from a previous projection of 16.2 million units.

In a statement, IDC’s Tom Mainelli said, “We expect major vendors to offer their current-generation black-and-white e-readers for less than $100 by the holidays. We’re also expecting Amazon’s much-rumored, color LCD-based device to ship later this year. Because we expect it to run a customized version of Android that ties its use to Amazon’s content services, we expect the device to more closely resemble Barnes & Noble’s Color Nook than Apple’s iPad 2. As a result, our current plan is to count it as an e-reader, and that will also help drive shipment numbers.”

In its Q1 2011 report released in July, IDC said Nook shipments were outpacing Kindle shipments. This no longer appears to the be case, Mainelli told me.

Tablets: The new IDC report also includes some projections on tablets. The company says 13.6 million tablets were shipped in Q2 2011–up 303.8 percent year on year–and projects 62.5 million units to be shipped in 2011.

Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) iPad 2 shipments reached 9.3 million units, making up 68.3 percent of the worldwide market. IDC estimates RIM’s market share at 4.9 percent.


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