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Old 10-13-2006, 12:21 AM   #31
NatCh
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What's missing from your calculations, bobl, is that these readers use e-ink screens, which are not a fully mature technology, manufacturingwise and which are currently being manufactured by one, single company.

Someone over in the iRex iLiad forum recently broke his screen and iRex quoted him $343 to replace it. That is apparently right in line for actual cost. My estimate on the 6" screen that the Sony uses is roughly 1/2 the surface area of the iLiad's 8" one and only 4 shades of gray to the iLiad's 16 -- that's why I said $150 to $200. You could claim $100~$150 and I wouldn't argue the point, but it's still too high for your $25 range.

The folks over at the Baen Bar (NOT Baen publishing, just folks who hang out on their forum) are working on designing their own reader. Unfortunately, the company that makes the e-ink displays NDA'd them, so they can't say exactly which costs what, but they did say that if they bought all the components themselves from other sources, and the e-ink displays from PVI (the company that makes them), and did all the assembly work themselves, the cost would be around $300 per unit (that's for ~1000 units, and there's no volume price break on this side of 10,000 displays). That's without a profit margin, cause they're basically trying to make the readers themselves for themselves. They're currently looking at other display types to see if they can find anything that compares to e-ink, for a lower cost.

So while I haven't seen a B.O.M., I stand by my guess as being fairly informed.

You mentioned the $100 laptop -- the Baen folks looked at it and discussed it some, and the general consensus there was that it just wasn't suitable for a reader.

Last edited by NatCh; 10-13-2006 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 10-13-2006, 06:38 PM   #32
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Natch,

Thanks for your additional data. Looks like its current and well-sourced, Premised on that, I concede that my numbers are bogus. Premise is built on using a PDA screen (4x6) at 100,000 units. Clearly, this is the wrong formula. Sounds like it's going to take more than volume and efficiency to get the e-ink solution anywhere close to the range I'm talking about. Wonder what else could take the pricing down enough to drive major adoption.

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Old 10-13-2006, 10:48 PM   #33
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I'd think the most likely thing would be major adoption driving production volume up enough to take advantage of economies of scale.

Having more than one company manufacturing the stuff might be a good step too.
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