Hanvon chairman Yingjian Liu Photo: Michael Kwan
Chinese company Hanvon, makers of the Touchpad B10 tablet, are also known as Hanwang. Chairman Yingjian Liu during a keynote speech at Computex 2010, discussed the increasing popularity and evolution of the e-book reader. He proclaimed the strengths of the e-ink format and how his company was leading the way in his home country of China. Then, his declarations got very bold. He called the e-book reader the “fourth screen,” referring to TV, PC, and cell phone as the other three screens. He observed that some people say the mobile phone will replace the e-reader, but he responded by saying that the e-ink book reader will replace cell phones instead.
It’s possible that something was lost in translation (he was speaking in Chinese and I was listening to the English interpreter), but I don’t think this Hanvon prediction will hold. Everyone brings a phone with them everywhere, but I don’t foresee people carrying around their Kindles in the same way… and it’s not like people are going to use an iPad-like device to make quick phone calls in lieu of using an iPhone, right?
e-Reader e-ink displays are the "4th screen" Photo: Michael Kwan