Austin, Texas - IMS Research is forecasting a healthy first quarter of 2011 for the e-reader and tablet PC markets.
For the first quarter IMS expects about 5.2 million e-readers to ship worldwide, up 2 percent from the prior quarter and 178 percent year over year, said Ross Young, senior VP for IMS Research Displays.
For 2011 the firm expects total shipments of 29 million units due to lower prices and new functionality expected to be incorporated into newer models, such as touchscreens and color.
On the tablet side IMS said 58 million units will ship on the back of widespread consumer adoption and higher acceptance in the enterprise market.
IMS does predict first-quarter tablet sales will tail off slightly, 6 percent, down to 8.8 million units shipped worldwide. This is compared with the 9.4 million shipped during the fourth quarter of 2011.
Apple will retain its leadership position, with about 75 percent of the market.