Forecast: global e-book reader shipments 2008-2016

This statistic shows the number of e-book reader shipments worldwide from 2008 to 2012 and also offers a forecast until 2016. In 2009, around 3.8 million e-readers were sold worldwide. In the United States, the revenue from e-books was 158 million U.S. dollars in 2008. In 2010, Amazon's Kindle accounted for 62.8 percent of all e-reader shipments worldwide.

E-book readers – additional information

An e-book reader is a mobile device mainly for the purpose of reading electronic books. E-books have continuously gained importance over the past decade. Roughly 22.5 percent of consumer book sales in the United States is forecast to be via e-books by 2015 and 21 percent in Europe by 2017, respectively. The North American market is expected to remain the biggest and fastest-growing market for e-books, though revenue growth in other regions including Western Europe and Asia Pacific is also projected to be considerably high.

Main advantages of an e-reader versus other mobile devices are its portability, better readability and longer battery life. According to the statistic at hand, global shipments of e-readers hit a record high in 2011 with 23.2 million units. However, figures rapidly decreased to 14.9 million units in 2012 and this downward trend is expected to continue. Meanwhile, the global tablet computer market soars. Credit Suisse projected global tablet shipments to surpass 298 million units by 2015. Consumer tablet experiences are not limited to searching, social networking and games. As of December 2012, more than half of the American tablet users had read books on their mobile devices. With each successive generation of lighter and more powerful devices, the boost of multi-function tablets is threatening to render limited single-use e-readers obsolete.

Shipments of e-book readers worldwide from 2008 to 2016

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Release date

December 2012



Survey time period

2008 to 2012

Supplementary notes

* Figures for 2013 to 2016 are a forecast.

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Statistics on "e-readers"

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