Sales of devices like the Kindle and the Nook will grow 37 per cent annually in the EMEA region, according to IDC forecasts.

E-reader sales power ahead

Market analysts IDC said that the market for e-readers doubled in 2011 for the EMEA region, with sales reaching 4.8 million units.

IDC said that the fall in prices helped the strong growth in sales for the paperless book devices, little wonder with Amazon slashing the cost of the WiFi-only Kindle down to £89.

"The EMEA market for ereaders is developing fast," said IDC analyst Mario Lombardo. "The rapid fall in prices is making ereaders increasingly accessible to consumers, transforming the way they access content."

Lombardo said that this year will be a crucial year with prices falling but it’s content revenue that would be king. "Vendors mainly counting on sales of the mere hardware will face very challenging times," Lombardo said.

Some e-reader makers may even be "forced out of the market", he added.

IDC reckons the EMEA region will be good for 24 million units a year by 2016. The analysts noted that in most Western European countries, ebooks were subject to the maximum rate of VAT while printed versions were taxed far less.

"Shifts in these regulations will undoubtedly help the market for digital content to flourish in the coming years," IDC suggests.

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