Expected 50% Drop in e-Book Demand for Q4 May Hit Amazon (AMZN), Barnes & Noble (BKS)

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Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN), Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), and the like might see some pressure during the fourth-quarter sales season, with new research pointing to lowered demand for some of their key items.

Digitimes research notes that shipments of e-Book readers will hit 4.57 million units in the quarter, which is up 92 percent from the third-quarter, but down 49 percent from the same period last year.

Things don't shape up much better for fiscal 2012, with e-Book shipments expected to decline about 57.3 percent from 2011 to 9.82 million units.

Leading the e-Book segment will be Anazom, with a 55 percent share. Kubo will be second at 20 percent, Barnes & Noble third at 10 percent, and Sony (NYSE: SNE) garnering just 6 percent.

But, with the continued onset of lower cost media tablets, Digitimes doesn't see the pressure letting up anytime soon. Estimates have shipments falling to 8.2 million units in FY13, 6.5 million in FY14, and 5 million in FY15.

Notably, both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have realized this shift, both selling full-color media tablets as well. For Amazon, its a way to get more content than just books into the hands of users, while Barnes & Noble has yet to make a strong move into other forms of content outside of e-Books.

Shares of Amazon are lower on the session, while Barnes & Noble is up over 1 percent.

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