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E-book reader sales to boom as prices plunge

Rivals follow Amazon and cut

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World shipments of e-book readers with electronic ink screens topped 6.5m in Q3 2011, market watcher IDC has said.

That represents quarter-on-quarter growth of 27 per cent, and an increase of 165.9 per cent on Q3 2010's total.

Expect even greater increases this quarter, IDC said, as the gadgets get cheaper. Not only did Amazon knock the entry price of the Kindle to $79/£89, but its rivals pushed their own prices down too in a bid to remain competitive.

Sony, for example, is currently selling its Reader PRS-T1 for just $99 - it's still £129 ($200) here, ahem - in the States, which is a real bargain.

The US matters to Sony and others because it's the world's biggest e-book reader arena. It accounts for 80 per cent of global reader shipments, IDC said. Europe is in second place. ®

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