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Old 12-30-2009, 08:31 PM   #5
Kali Yuga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DD1509 View Post
With the pending Apple tablet and now the Microsoft via Kurzweil reader software, is this spelling the death of the E-Ink screen?
Probably not.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DD1509
The big TWO are going to push a color screen with back lighting. They want a rich, robust, backlit color environment.... The future looks like it will be an LED screen.
LED is just a backlight; the screens will be harder to read, heavier, reduce comprehension and require more power. A tablet device will measure its battery life in hours and weight in pounds, whereas with eInk it's days and ounces. Color eInk is also in the works, and flexible screens are also possible. Device costs are also dropping, which makes them more attractive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DD1509
Can the E-Ink display hold off this onslaught?
It's certainly possible, e.g. a similar successive tech could always replace it. EBooks are only one target for eInk, by the way; things like street ads are another market. So they'll probably be fine, unless they fail to execute at some point.

The only caveat is magazines; I don't think eInk devices have really gotten that down yet. However a lot of that is screen size; e.g. a magazine on a 6" tablet will be as difficult to design for as a 6" eInk screen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DD1509
I am not sure that Amazon, B&N and all the rest can hold off the weight of being crushed by these two big players and likely more to come.
Amazon and B&N can easily write software for any tablet, as demonstrated by their existing software for the iPhone and PC. No one's success is guaranteed, but clearly they can adapt to a change in the device ecosystem.

Plus, the publishers are terrified of how iTunes dominated the legit music download market, so I doubt they will just flock to or kowtow to any new retailer, especially Apple or MS.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DD1509
However, the greater public has yet to vote. This would be the next 50 million buyers of the next generation of eBooks/eReaders.
Sure, but this is not necessarily a zero-sum game.

Not all book buyers purchase books equally. Most people only buy or read a few books a year, and a small portion buys 10+ books a year and thus represents a significant chunk of the revenues. So even if tablets become used by more individuals to read books, it's plausible that an eInk / ePaper / focused device will still be the source for most of the actual ebooks that get read.

I.e. as long as that small slice wants a device that's really good for reading, I'm pretty confident someone is going to sell a device that's really good for reading (whatever that may be). LCD currently does not fit that bill, for example, and is unlikely to do so in the future.

Separately, it's quite possible that the education market may prefer to provide devices that are made for reading, and aren't capable of providing dozens of distractions for the students. They won't be too thrilled by a device that conks out after 4, 5 or even 6 hours.

Last but not least, it is actually somewhat rare (afaik) for a multifunction device to completely replace a focused one. The only instance I can think of is the PDA getting largely rolled into smartphones.
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