Framingham, Mass. - The e-reader category performed very well during the 2010 holiday period, with 6 million units shipping worldwide, according to IDC.
This almost equaled the yearly total of 12.8 million e-readers shipped worldwide in 2010. In 2009, 3 million e-readers shipped.
IDC credited the growth to increased awareness of the devices due to the attention being received by media tablets and the e-reader's low pricing.
Amazon maintained its dominant position, with 48 percent of the market during the fourth quarter and for the year overall.
Barnes & Noble managed to maintain its No. 2 position in the category for the year, with 12.9 percent of the market, but it was pushed into third place in the fourth quarter by Pandigital, which had a 13 percent share compared with BN's 12.5 percent. Pandigital was the third largest shipper for the year, with 10 percent of the market, according to the report.
Hanvon came in fourth place, while Sony Reader's shipments grew 81 percent during the fourth quarter, to 800,000 units.
Half of Hanvon's shipments took place in China, and IDC noted the company struggled outside that country when faced with the stiffer competition presented by Amazon and the other leaders.