A new study suggests that the e-reader market has seen massive growth in 2010, with sales of the devices increasing by 79.8 per cent this year, when compared to 2009.

Gartner, creators of the study, reveal that there will be a total of 6.6 million units sold in 2010 – in 2009, just 3.6 million units were sold.

That's a lot of Amazon Kindles and Sony Readers.

Sale of the century

This impressive surge in e-reader buying is set to increase in 2011, with Gartner predicting that sales will be up 68.3 per cent.

With these figures come the warning that the market could well be cannibalised by the inevitable growth in tablet sales.

However, e-reader manufacturers could fight the tablet explosion with keeping prices low.

"E-reader vendors will need to offer lower prices than for more fully featured media tablets," explained Allen Weiner, research vice president at Gartner.

"This will entail smaller profit margins and potential hardware subsidies at retail, and/or the ability to obtain lower-priced components.

"We think few end users will buy both an e-reader and a media tablet, so it is important that e-readers retain a price advantage."

This week Google announced the arrival of its online book store, Google eBooks, in the US.

Via Tech Eye