E-readers are dead meat in the face of the iPad and Samsung Tab

Sales of the ‘smartbooks’ category (i.e. like the iPad) are expected to grow from 3.65 million in 2010 to nearly 50 million in 2014, or over 50% of all embedded device sales, according to the latest forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media analysts.

The losers will be dedicated e-readers, the winners: multifunctional portable devices like the iPad and Android-driven Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Their reasoning with this conclusion is that e-book content is now available on most multifunctional devices like mobiles and tablets, and work “well enough” as book readers, while having other functions.

The list of smaller e-reader players experiencing problems is growing longer, like Skiff, iRex and Plastic Logic.

Informa expects mobile broadband e-reader sales will peak at 14 million units in 2013, before falling by 7% in 2014 as the segment faces increased competition from a wide range of consumer electronic devices including cheaper non-connected models, like the Kobo and new Kindle WiFi.