Worldwide shipments of e-readers such as the Kindle are expected to triple to 67 million by 2016, according to market-watcher Juniper Research.
According to Juniper, prices have been falling and the technology for electronic ink improving – enabling the category to carve a niche for itself in the wireless device market. Amazon's release of a tablet PC would also boost the business e-reader market, it said.
Daniel Ashdown, analyst and report author at Juniper, said: "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."
Besides the tablet, Amazon also announced three new Kindle models with RRPs of $79 to $149, two with touchscreens like those of tablet PCs.
The Kindle Fire is priced at $199 and meant as a mass-market iPad alternative.
Barnes & Noble, meanwhile, has launched its Nook Color, a touchscreen LCD e-reader with an app store.
Hybrid displays, long term, could end the demand for dedicated e-readers, according to Ashdown.
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