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Old 07-08-2015, 10:56 AM   #1
Rizla
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Why is there no e-ink innovation in the USA?

I saw this link today:
http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/0...o-its-catalog/

No big deal. It's a Swiss company selling an Android 8" e-reader / tablet. But why don't we see American companies selling or producing these type of devices? There are a fair number of innovative companies producing this type of device in Europe and Asia: Onyx, Boyue, the above, and others I'm sure. They are using screens smaller than 6" and as large as 8", and larger.

So why aren't we seeing these innovative devices either being produced / designed or even directly sold to the USA market? To get one, we have to ship from Europe or Asia, which brings extra cost and hazards.

What happened to innovation in the American market?
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:07 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
I saw this link today:
http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/0...o-its-catalog/

No big deal. It's a Swiss company selling an Android 8" e-reader / tablet. But why don't we see American companies selling or producing these type of devices? There are a fair number of innovative companies producing this type of device in Europe and Asia: Onyx, Boyue, the above, and others I'm sure. They are using screens smaller than 6" and as large as 8", and larger.

So why aren't we seeing these innovative devices either being produced / designed or even directly sold to the USA market? To get one, we have to ship from Europe or Asia, which brings extra cost and hazards.

What happened to innovation in the American market?

When overbearing regulation sent manufacturing to Asia, design work followed.

Design work always does, regardless of product category.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
I saw this link today:
http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/0...o-its-catalog/

No big deal. It's a Swiss company selling an Android 8" e-reader / tablet. But why don't we see American companies selling or producing these type of devices? There are a fair number of innovative companies producing this type of device in Europe and Asia: Onyx, Boyue, the above, and others I'm sure. They are using screens smaller than 6" and as large as 8", and larger.

So why aren't we seeing these innovative devices either being produced / designed or even directly sold to the USA market? To get one, we have to ship from Europe or Asia, which brings extra cost and hazards.

What happened to innovation in the American market?

It is called being priced out of the market. We cannot compete with the very low labor cost of the Asian countries.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:21 AM   #4
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It is called being priced out of the market. We cannot compete with the very low labor cost of the Asian countries.
Ipads and Iphones are made in Asia, yet they are sold here.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:22 AM   #5
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When overbearing regulation sent manufacturing to Asia, design work followed.

Design work always does, regardless of product category.
It is not illegal to import foreign devices to America, so they must meet US regulations.

Also many devices sold on the US market are designed in the US (Apple and Amazon, for example). Why are we not seeing a greater diversity of products directly available in our markets.

Last edited by Rizla; 07-08-2015 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
Why are we not seeing a greater diversity of products directly available in our markets.
Because the US market doesn't want technological diversity. It wants integration. It wants innovation only if it comes in the form of an upgraded version of a device already in widespread use.

Also: eink is niche in the US. There's just not much room for diversity in niche.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:46 AM   #7
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Ipads and Iphones are made in Asia, yet they are sold here.
Look who determines the design of the IPhone and Ipads. It is not the Asians.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:48 AM   #8
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Because the US market doesn't want technological diversity. It wants integration. It wants innovation only if it comes in the form of an upgraded version of a device already in widespread use.

Also: eink is niche in the US. There's just not much room for diversity in niche.
So what makes the US market so different from other markets?
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:53 AM   #9
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Haven't you figured out that we Americans want a device that does everything and cost nothing. Also most want devices that think for them so that can be as lazy as possible.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:57 AM   #10
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Haven't you figured out that we Americans want a device that does everything and cost nothing. Also most want devices that think for them so that can be as lazy as possible.
Bingo.

Plus, many Americans no longer read books for pleasure.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:03 PM   #11
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Not just Americans.

It's sad. Guess lots of People get disgusted by reading at school. And don't realize reading can be fun, when you choose what and when to read.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:13 PM   #12
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Guess lots of People get disgusted by reading at school.
I don't think that's it. The people I talk to either have positive memories of books they read in school, or they hated the book, but not the experience of reading.

I think it's the proliferation of other entertainment options coupled with lack of encouragement from parents.

I had a friend who never read anything outside of school. She didn't understand how words on a page could move you the way a movie would. I had her read Stephen King's Christine (specifically the section where Christine hunts down the kid in the Camaro) and she became a reader and a Stephen King fan.

I'm convinced that anyone could be a reader, if you can just find the book that will turn them on. That's why I don't look down my nose at any kind of reading.

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Old 07-08-2015, 12:15 PM   #13
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I love to read. I have a saying that I read to update my brains software
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:18 PM   #14
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I love to read. I have a saying that I read to update my brains software
Will the next upgrade perhaps include apostrophes?
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:23 PM   #15
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Because the US market doesn't want technological diversity. It wants integration. It wants innovation only if it comes in the form of an upgraded version of a device already in widespread use.

Also: eink is niche in the US. There's just not much room for diversity in niche.
Eink is a niche everywhere.

The thing hobbyists like us often forget is that most people buy ereaders to read ebooks. Not to "fool around" with the display or the formatting. The driving traits are stability and access to the most books at the best prices.

So ereader sales are driven by the nature of the ebook market, not the converse. Most people decide first where they're going to get their ebooks and then look for a reading device that lets them get there.

In the US, that means that 70% of the market chooses Kindle. Which means they have no use for generic eink devices built for generic ebookstores. Of which there might be one or two zombies left but most of those were killed by the price fix era.

The other 30% of ebooks sold go out via Nook, Kobo, Apple, and Google. Nook ebooks are only readable via Nook readers and phones and tablets. No use for generics. Apple? Only via Apple hardware. Google and Kobo support PC-based transfer to generics (and Nooks. And tablets. And phones.) But neither registers above the single digits in market share (and there is some doubt whether combined they go higher than 10%.)

So right there, 90% of the market is closed to generics.
Still, that 10% is a decent sized market served by tablets, phones, Kobo, Nook, and, for hobbyists, eBay.

Now, the US ereader market is hardly starved for eink innovation. If anything, the US gets the new eink displays before anybody else. Usually through Kindle and Kobo.
Other variations, though?
The problem with most of the "innovative" and experimental devices is they come from tiny companies where sales of 5-1000 units is big business. (For comparison, Kindle needs over 10,000 display units just for their B&M retail partners.) Which is why those "innovative" devices with 2-3 year old eink tech end up at eBay or BangBangGood or other China, Inc online distribution channels.

The US is a big market that requires a big commitment to target directly. (Even Kobo hardly bothers. They can't even get their parent company to feature them on their website.) And with most ebook buyers more concerned with the books than the gadget the market for specialty gadgets is more than adequately served indirectly.

We hobbyists get our toys, everybody else gets their books from the walled gardens.

(If you need to blame somebody, blame B&N for the 4 hour price war of 2010.)

Last edited by fjtorres; 07-08-2015 at 12:30 PM.
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