Global shipments of eReaders are expected to skyrocket this year, ballooning 183% from last year to reach 34.8 million units. According to new data from the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute, part of Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry, 12.3 million dedicated eBook readers shipped in 2010. The figure is relatively in line with earlier estimates of 12.8 million units from market research firm IDC. The MIC estimates that global eReader shipments in 2011 will total up to 34.8 million units, and 2012 shipments could grow a further 46% to surpass 50 million units. The firm sees the U.S. as the biggest growth market during that period, and the eReader landscape is expected to shift moving forward. “Consumers prefer e-readers with multimedia functions, MIC said, the overall performance, colorization, and product differentiation are key factors for market success,” Taiwan Economic News noted in its coverage of MIC’s report. “Cross-industry alliances will also be decisive for players in the new game, the center said.”