eBook Sales to Mobile Devices Will Approach $10 Billion by 2016, Says Juniper

eBook sales are just getting warmed up, says a new report from Juniper Thursday.

The latest projections from the prominent research firm show that continued strong growth in the dedicated eReader market, allied to an upsurge in usage across tablet devices, “will push annual revenues from eBooks delivered to portable devices to $9.7 billion by 2016.”

If you’re not keeping tabs, that’s an increase of almost $7 billion from this year, which will see about $3 billion in eBook sales.

Juniper’s report – Mobile Publishing: eBooks, eMagazines & eNewspapers for Smart Devices – indicates that the increasing demand for tablets means that these devices will account for nearly 30% of all eBook downloads by 2016.

In addition to the higher rate of tablet penetration, eBook access on these devices has already been boosted by the launch of leading brand bookstore applications, such as Apple’s iBookStore and Amazon’s Kindle.

So does this development foreshadow sudden death for the brick-and-mortar bookstores of the world?

Not necessarily.

“While the transition to eCommerce and to digital content delivery has demonstrably had a negative impact on traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers,” Juniper says, “the report observed larger bookstore chains increasingly seeking to marry their digital and physical activities.”

“The Barnes & Noble model has been to use its own brand eReader – and its tablet application – to act as a bridge between online and in-store purchases,” writes report author Dr. Windsor Holden. “The other chains are picking up on that, launching their own devices, offering digital coupons to be redeemed in-store, reinforcing the relationship with the consumer.”