The next wave of ePaper may be losing some of that old fashioned appeal. Current ePaper readers such as the Kindle need light in order to be read, just like when you’re looking over an actual newspaper. With an increasing amount of eReaders (tablets) boasting backlight displays, most of us like to keep eInk a bit more traditional; like having to read with the aid of other light. Reading without backlighting is also easier on the eyes.
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 probably not completely fair to compare Amazon’s Jeff Bezos with the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, but he is withholding something from us that we may have otherwise desired. According to the Amazon head honcho himself, we should not be expecting a color version of the Kindle any time soon.
The guys at Amazon on working on something, but a color Kindle is “still some ways out,” according to Bezos. That’s too bad, because I’m sure the launch of the Apple iPad has done nothing but harm to the sales numbers on the Kindle.