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  • 06.01.09

E-Ink’s Sale Clears Path for Color Kindle in 2010

The sale of E-Ink, the company that makes the display for the Kindle, will fast-track the development of color e-readers. Here’s why.

E-Ink–the most popular type of electronic paper as well as the name of the company that manufactures it for devices including the Kindle–has been bought by its primary business partner. The move is aimed at speeding the development of color e-paper.

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Color Kindle

The buy-out hands ownership of the 100-odd patents E-ink holds for electrophoretic technology over to PVI. But the impetus for the move was specifically noted by E-ink’s vice President Sriram Peruvemba as a way to simplify how the two companies work together. And it will give E-ink the cash and manpower to push development of color electronic paper displays. 

Kindles are limited to black and white or grayscale imagery today. Fujitsu has rushed ahead with its color Flepia e-ink technology, and that’s also an Achilles heel for the device–it costs nearly three times as much as the Kindle. When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was cornered last week about when the Kindle would get a color display, he responded by saying a color Kindle was “multiple years” away.

But the a newly-restructured E-Ink and PVI will accelerate the pace of development, and Peruvemba pointed to the end of 2010 for when mass production will begin. That means a color Kindle may be just 18 months or so in the future.

[via Reuters]

Related:
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Unveils Kindle DX in New York | TechWatch …
Fujitsu’s FLEPia Color E-Book Now Official, Slow and Expensive
The Real Cost of E-Ink

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