For months, we have been hoping for Amazon and other e-book reader makers to offer color-screen devices. Apple has obviously done it, but the iPad is not an e-book reader (it’s just a tablet). Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, has already hinted that the company tried color screen technologies and could not come up with something that would work for Kindle brand. Will E-ink’s latest products change that stance?
E Ink has recently launched two EPDs, one of them being a capacitive touch solution and the other an electromagnetic one, Liu said. The EPDs are currently being validated by clients, and the company expects products featuring the new panels will hit the market by the end of 2010 or at the beginning of 2011, he said.
As for color EPD, China-based vendor Hanvon has adopted its color EPD and is scheduled to launch e-book readers using the color EPD in the fourth quarter, Liu said. The e-book reader panel adopts E Ink’s latest Pearl EPD with color filter (CF), and it will have better response time and reflection, Liu explained, adding that E Ink expects color e-book readers to account for 10% of the global e-book reader market in 2011,
reports Digitimes. While I have been anything but impressed with color e-paper in the past, multi-touch capability can be very handy on Amazon Kindle (that is if Kindle owners can take their fingerprints showing up on their display).
I disagree with Fast Company about the demand for color screen readers. College students and business professionals have complained time and time again about Kindle’s inability to display their books and documents the way they are. While nobody may be interested in watching movies or playing games on a Kindle, having the option to view documents in their full color would be nice to have. This is not an either/or matter. Amazon could technically offer two flavors of Kindle (one with color/touch).
Amazon has decided to focus on price (instead of features) to compete with other e-readers and tablets. A $49 or even free Kindle (with book subscription) will keep Amazon Kindle among the top e-readers for at least a few years. But why ignore the high-end of the market when Amazon can charge a premium for a decent color e-reader? If Amazon is truly interested in developing other hardware solutions, why not offer a color-screen e-reader? Wouldn’t you want to have the option?