iSuppli believes annual e-reader shipments peaked in 2011 with 23.2 million units, so it is all downhill from here. Shipments in 2012 should drop by about 36 percent, to just 14.9 million units. By 2016 shipments should halve yet again, dropping to about 7.1 million.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that we won’t see e-readers in the year to come. We will just see less of them. Not that long ago smartphones wiped out the music player market and now they are in the process of devouring the point-and-shoot camera market.
E-readers still have a lot to offer. They are much cheaper than tablets, they have great battery life and their legibility in daylight is unbeatable. However, tablets are all-round devices, while e-readers are designed specifically to excel at one task.