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By 15 November 2011 | Categories: news

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A new report titled 'Tablets, Viva La Evolution’ forecasts that e-reader shipments will reach 67 million by 2016, nearly triple the 25 million devices the company expects to reach the market in 2011.
 
Analyst company Juniper Research responsible for the research explained that, while this is less than half the 55.2 million tablets that will be shipped this year, the price of the market-leading Kindle has fallen significantly (from $349 or R2800 to $79 or R632) since it was launched.
 
Additionally, Amazon’s recent launch of its first tablet, the Kindle Fire, had apparently only strengthened the viability of dedicated e-readers. The company pointed out that Amazon had announced  three new Kindle models alongside its new tablet, two of which include touchscreen technology, borrowed from tablets, and now seen as a ‘must-have’ in mobile devices.
 
“Amazon has done its homework: it knows there is not a one-size-fits-all device that makes everyone happy. While the iPad 2 – which it sells – is a premium tablet for Generation Y, Amazon has the wider market covered,” noted report author Daniel Ashdown.
 
He elaborated that Amazon’s new range of Kindles offer a range of options, while the Kindle Fire offers a mass market alternative to the iPad. Barnes and Noble – another leading eReader vendor in the US, similarly has an e-ink reader, a touchscreen LCD e-reader called the Nook Colour, and a Nook Tablet on its way.
 
However, what tablets could not do – namely spell the demise of the dedicated e-reader – hybrid displays may just accomplish. Juniper’s report has found that vendors are exploring hybrid displays which integrate both LCD and electronic ink technology. While LCD is superior for high resolution video, electronic ink provides a more comfortable reading experience and utilises less battery.
 
Unfortunately though, Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s foray into the tablet arena doesn’t necessarily benefit South African users. Both lock users in to a closed ecosystem when it comes to purchasing content, much of which is only available to US users at the present.
 
However, in the case of the new e-ink Kindles, South African users can potentially benefit from the reduction in prices that Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet has produced.

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