Tablets are to blame, again, like they seem to be the cause of so many other thingsSales of Windows 8/RT tablets may have proven somewhat disappointing, but that doesn't actually speak for the whole tablet market. In fact, the situation is, one might say, closer to the opposite and E-readers are just one of the parties suffering the consequences.
Tablet sales have been going well, but they, sadly, aren't the sort of device that can appear on the IT market without causing headaches to anyone or anything already there.
People who would have gotten a phone, laptop or other gadget are now buying tablets because these slates have all their capabilities, and sometimes more.
It is for this reason that e-book readers have been selling less lately, and the reason why they will sell less and less as more time passes.
Market research firm iSuppli reached the conclusion that, even though e-reader do precisely what they are meant to do, they are losing ground to tablets.
In 2011, 20 million units shipped, and many believed the figure would grow in 2012 and even further in 2013.
With the direction changing almost overnight, iSuppli now believes that e-reader sales will fall to 7 million by 2015.
All things considered, the situation is truly unfortunate, perhaps even unfair to e-readers and their makers.
When devices with e-ink screens hit the market, they had to overcome ambivalence. After doing so, they prompted book publishers to grow out of existing publishing conventions, not to mention scan and digitize all the books they could.
E-readers are a great part of the reason why so many texts exist in electronic format today. That these devices would end up with such a short market life is at once regrettable and impressive (it takes a certain charm to have such a profound effect in such a short time).
Amazon and B&N will, of course, continue refining their Kindle and Nook for as long as possible, just like their rivals will try to keep up.