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Old 03-31-2014, 12:09 PM   #16
QuantumIguana
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The chances of e-ink dying out are pretty slim. E-ink is still a young technology, it's application is a lot broader than e-readers. LCD monitors are commonly used to display static images, and e-ink is better at that. The downside to e-ink is that color is not yet as good as LCD. When color is improved, e-ink will an obvious choice for displays - you don't have to spend the energy to display the image. LCD is also has a much better refresh rate. Once e-ink improves both the color and refresh rate, an e-ink tablet makes a lot of sense.

As long as there are people who want to buy e-ink readers, someone will produce them. With 8-track, as people moved to cassette, there was less demand for 8-track tapes, so there was less incentive to release music on 8-track, which lessened demand for 8-track players. It's different with e-readers because unlike 8-track and cassette, the format of the content is identical. Decreased demand for e-ink readers doesn't result in less content that can be used with e-ink readers. Even if E-ink doesn't improve significantly (which I think is highly unlikely), people who want e-ink readers will be able to get content for them.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:32 PM   #17
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We have all been gullible and affluent purchasers of all the new gimmicks the industry has devised for some time now. The evidence is staring us in the face. How many devices for reading (apart from real books) do I have? I am ashamed to tell the truth - too many. I have to give them away or just leave them in the cupboard collecting dust. The end of the financial crisis may be in sight but most people now have appreciably less disposable income than they had 5 years ago. This situation has coincided with the dawning realization that we have been duped by the industry into buying every little gizmo that they could dream up.
I can barely justify having a PC, a tablet, an ereader and a mobile phone, all of which are reading devices and do a lot more besides. I cannot justify have 4 or 5 of each of these devices, as the industry would like.
So I'm not in the market to buy and I am not the only person who is thinking that way. The law of diminshing returns applies to ereaders, ice creams and most other things. One ice cream is great. I probably won't say no to 2. With 3 I am realizing I don't need another. And I know that 4 will make me throw up!
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:16 PM   #18
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although I like monochrome, I suppose the lesson is that most people do not
yeah, monochrome is so boring for reading
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:23 PM   #19
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Once e-ink improves both the color and refresh rate, an e-ink tablet makes a lot of sense
one of the prime reasons for e-Ink being great is that it's not a battery drainer

and it doesn't drain too much battery precisely because of it's static nature. If you speed up refresh rate, it makes for a far worse display than LCD, aside from being visible under the sun.

face it: it's made for a mostly static task such as reading and reading as a whole has been going downhill for quite some time already. And most of the niche reading market will become snobs and prefer to have physical books all around them, to smell fungus and eat paper. Very few will prefer to carry all their books in their pocket...
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:52 PM   #20
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An e-ink screen which had the capacity to refresh faster wouldn't use more energy unless it actually was refreshing faster. With reading, you only need to refresh when you turn a page. LCD has to refresh everything constantly. A faster e-ink would only have to refresh what actually changed. Imagine you're watching where the background is static. The background wouldn't need to be refreshed. Or you're playing a game where most of the screen remains the same for long periods of time.

The color in color e-ink isn't currently as good as the color in LCD, and it isn't currently able to refresh as quickly, but the demise of e-ink is rather exaggerated. E-ink is a new technology, and just a few years ago was the stuff of science fiction.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:57 PM   #21
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E-ink profits are down because
1) the tech hasn't advanced enough for users to upgrade.
2) the early adopters (i.e. dedicated hardcore readers who like tech) have already bought e-readers. See 1).
3) people that don't already have an e-reader prefer print.
4) tablets and phones are fine for occasional readers.

Maybe e-ink will die, but there will always be a market for something better than LCD. It gives a lot of people eye-strain.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:18 PM   #22
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E Ink (the company making most of the screens) is at the mercy of the people making the readers. Their weakness is that it is a specialty market. Their strength is that they seem to be the best in the market in terms of price and availability.

They survived when an entry level Eink reader was several hundred dollars and few had heard of them let alone bought one, so I think they will manage to hang on for a bit. Despite sales figures possibly declining I doubt they have declined even close to pre 2010 levels.

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Old 03-31-2014, 02:27 PM   #23
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I think most people who would want an ereader already have one and any new hardware releases and the like are preaching to the already converted. Hell my wife and I have 5 between the 2 of us.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:46 PM   #24
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That is until they pick up a Nexus 7.2 or an iPad mini Retina, then they finally see what clear, sharp, beautiful text really looks like, and thereafter their Paperwhites and Glos sit collecting dust on a shelf.
For me, the text on my Paperwhite is the best for reading and my Nexus 7.2 is what's collecting dust on that shelf.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:49 PM   #25
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An e-ink screen which had the capacity to refresh faster wouldn't use more energy unless it actually was refreshing faster. With reading, you only need to refresh when you turn a page. LCD has to refresh everything constantly. A faster e-ink would only have to refresh what actually changed. Imagine you're watching where the background is static. The background wouldn't need to be refreshed. Or you're playing a game where most of the screen remains the same for long periods of time.
is that true? can e-ink screens really refresh just a portion of the screen independently from the rest?
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:02 PM   #26
QuantumIguana
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is that true? can e-ink screens really refresh just a portion of the screen independently from the rest?

Current e-ink displays refresh the whole screen, but there's no reason that they couldn't build a screen that refreshed only a portion of the screen. It just hasn't been needed for the applications e-ink has been used for, but it wouldn't be terribly complicated.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:05 PM   #27
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I suspect the problem is that too many think that Kindle equals eReader, and lately Amazon has been satisfied to rest on their laurels. The PW2 settled for a refresh of the PW1 and Amazon let a year go by without innovating. In that year Kobo came out of nowhere with a high definition trade paperback sized screen. With that, Kobo started to take over the place B&N had in a year that B&N's eReader took a step backward and Sony responded to a corporation wide retrenchment and left the US market for eReaders altogether.

Amazon still has many advantages over Kobo due to their name, base of users, mature ebook store and, of course, their famous Customer Service, but if they wish to maintain, much less grow their profit margins they can't afford to ignore the customers who buy the most books per capita. Those tend to be the customers who seek out the best reading experience.

Of course eInk has to sell innovative solutions to all potential manufacturers if they want to stay in the game. Isn't that something that all these players want to do?

I think that while gross sales of eInk screens may well fall off, innovative new eReaders with static, front lighted screens, will continue into the foreseeable future.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:06 PM   #28
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I've just bought an iPad mini to read on because a) I wanted a small tablet, and b) I'm fed up with the way Amazon are locking down the Kindle software, and whilst my Kobo Aura is nice, it's just easier, quicker and more convienient to get an ebook onto my iPad mini than it is to fluff around with Amazon or Kobo.

It's not just the lack of development of the screens that is e-inks problem it's the devices they go in.

Er and apple DON'T? LOL They lock it down just as much and you have to jail break it. If you want something truly open, get a Nexus. Or you have to get something restricted and like it as is. The only other option is to jail break it.

Personally I think it is not a matter of the market dying, but being saturated. Everyone has what they want, why buy another? Do we buy a new copy of The Stand just because it is a fresh printing? No, not if we already have it. Books have had the same basic design for a LONG time, and will continue. Sometimes a platform reaches it pinnacle and can't really be improved. Or the improvements are so slight that no one wants to bother to upgrade "just to upgrade".

Personally I do all my book reading on my Nook Classic. It is hacked/jailbroken/ as the built in reading app was lacking in a few areas (searching, showing both side loaded and B&N books at the same time, showing all book covers, using tags, etc). B&N COULD have fixed these issues easily but they chose to go with new devices rather than supporting existing customers. Anyway with the NookDevs library app, it is the perfect ereader (at least to me). It shows color coverflow, easy to scroll/jump to a section in your library. And has good battery life.

I also have a tablet (Nook NT) that I use for checking news feeds, mail, and a few other apps I run. But when I read, I read on the Nook Classic. Easier on the eyes and better battery life. If the battery life wasn't the issue, I still would go with eink for long reading. I have a back lit screen in front of my eyes too many hours of the day as it is. My eyes just don't tire with eink, while they always do with back lit.


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Old 03-31-2014, 05:03 PM   #29
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Every time I read stories about e-ink or its readers like this, I go into a emotional temporary non rational melt down. I go into moments of panic, I try to figure out how I could possibly stock up on kindle readers, without compromising batteries. I imagine 5 years from now when I might come to a point where my joy of reading ends because of inability to have a device I can use to do so.

I go into these panic modes because for me there are no other options. I always read about how if you just try this tablet or that tablet, you'll see how better they are than e-ink. Well, not for me and I am guessing many others. I cannot read fiction on a tablet, period. Doesn't matter the brand, or if its retina or whatever new fangled name they come up with. I have a fire HD and cannot read a book on it. I know, I will be told its the "wrong" tablet, it must be a nexus, or a ipad mini retina. I tried that too, the mini that is. Its exactly the same for me, I cannot read on a back lit device like that. I get dizzy, my eyes start watering and I get a headache. I can read no more than 30 minutes at a time on it and I don't enjoy it.

I don't even totally enjoy reading on my PW1. The lighting layer distorts the font enough to be noticeable for me. I actually went and bought the kindle basic and the joy finally came back to me. My eyes just relax and glide over the letters on it. I can read for hours if I have the time and not have any issues with my eyes. I did not read much of anything until I got my first kindle in 2008. It was like the flood gates opened for me. I could read again and totally enjoy it. Paperback font was getting a bit hard for me to read at the time.

All I can hope for is that there are enough people like me out there to at least support one e-ink device in the future, in case production will only go to tablet like LED/LCD devices for the rest of the population. But if e-ink as a company can't survive, what do I do then. I don't even want to think about that.

So for me going to the basic was actually an upgrade from the PW1. I guess one can use a dedicated e-reader much longer than one can use a fancy tablet before it has to be replaced? It does what it needs to do well so there isn't a need to keep buying a new one each year.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:09 PM   #30
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If E-ink as a company were to go under, that doesn't mean the technology would go disappear. The assets would be sold off, and some other company would make them.
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