SOME folk in the information technology industry are suggesting the dedicated e-reader is on the ropes.
With sales of e-readers tumbling this year as people discover their smartphones or tablets, or even laptops and desktop PCs, can do much the same job.
The Taiwan-based DigiTimes news service, which has access to executives in the Chinese factories that churn out most of today's electronic goods, earlier this year estimated that only 10 million e-readers would be shipped globally this year, less than half the 27 million shipped last year. Meanwhile, US-based research firm Gartner expects about 821 million smart devices - smartphones and tablets - to be shipped worldwide this year.
So it certainly sounds as if the e-reader market, born in earnest with the launch of Amazon.com's Kindle in 2007, is suffering from the advance of the smarties.