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E-book Readers Hot This Holiday Season?

The Amazon Kindle might be one e-reader that has strong holiday sales. hide caption

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An analyst at Forrester Research, Inc., says the firm is revising its outlook on e-book readers. They're predicting stronger holiday sales than had been previously forecast and for that trend to carry over into 2010.

In a blog post on the research firm's Web site, media analyst Sarah Rotman Epps says the company expects 3 million such devices, like the Amazon Kindle and Sony's line of e-book readers, to be sold in 2009. The previous estimate had been 2 million.

Forrester expects sales to double in 2010, reaching 10 million cumulative e-reader sales by end the of next year.

Epps says in a sales forecast report:

This holiday season, eReaders will be one category that's a breakout
success. Lower prices, more content, better distribution, and lots of media hype are contributing to faster-than-expected adoption of eReader devices in 2009. We expect sales to double
in 2010, bringing cumulative sales of eReaders to 10 million by year-end 2010. If the category expands beyond E Ink-based displays in a substantial way, 2010 sales can easily surpass this projection.

Epps predicts that Amazon's Kindle sales will account for about 60 percent of the market share.

So, what's this about non-E-Ink-based displays? If companies like Apple introduce color-screen devices that can still double as e-book readers, it could introduce a new wrinkle to the market beyond the energy-efficient, black-and-white-screen devices we currently see available.

Of course, color E-Ink is in the works, too. 2010 looks to be a big year for e-books.

Edited to add: One possible reason for the new estimate: Amazon cut the price of its basic Kindle model to $259 recently.

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