Research and Markets ( says standalone e-readers will continue to address the needs of avid readers, to whom the reading experience is central, while tablets such as the iPad “are better suited for consumers who prefer a stronger multimedia experience, and only light reading.”

In 2009, standalone e-readers were one of the most popular devices in the consumer electronics world. Today, there is still buzz surrounding the e-reader market. However, the talk is of drastic price erosion, competition from the iPad, and the overall sustainability of standalone e-reader shipment growth. In response to the iPad introduction, e-reader manufacturers dropped price points in an effort to differentiate e-readers from the iPad and other multimedia tablet computers.

There’s even talk of a sub-$100 e-reader soon. At $100, the e-reader enters “gift” status, a status that can drive a market into the mainstream, says Research and Markets.

At mass market adoption, portable consumer electronics markets fragment into low-end, mid-range, and high-end segments. E-reader manufacturers will offer basic reading devices at affordable prices, while also offering more robust e-reader models with more functionality for a premium, says research and markets. The lines between e-readers and tablet computers will blur, but the research group believes there’s an opportunity for both class of devices.

Standalone e-reader shipments are expected to grow from 11.5 million units by the end of this year, to 35 million in 2014. In comparison, tablet shipments are expected to reach approximately 58 million in 2014, up from 13.7 million this year.