Amazon’s popular Kindle Fire is seen as having a huge impact on eReader shipments in the first quarter of 2012. The 7-inch Android tablet burst onto the scene in November and with less than seven weeks of availability in the fourth quarter, it managed to secure Amazon 14% of the global tablet market according to IHS iSupply. Demand for the Kindle Fire has remained strong in the first quarter — the slate is still Amazon’s best-selling electronics device for the 16th week running — and according to DigiTimes Research, eReader shipments will take a huge hit this quarter as a result. A seasonal decline from the holiday quarter to the first quarter is always anticipated, but DigiTimes’s research arm sees global eBook reader shipments dropping from 9 million units in the December quarter to just 2 million this quarter, a 78% decline. DigiTimes Research still projects solid eReader shipment growth in the coming years, however, as sales into channels jump from an estimated 22.82 million units in 2011 to more than 60 million units by 2015.