updated 10:05 am EDT, Thu July 29, 2010
Amazon sees e-books outrun paper, mulls Mirasol
E-book sales will overtake the paperback format within the next year, Amazon's Senior VP Steve Kessel said today following the launch of the new Kindle. Having just overtaken hardcovers, Kindle book sales should outrun paperbacks before the end of 2011. The executive added to Pocket-lint that e-books would overtake all paper books "sometime after that."
The figures would largely be confined to Amazon's own sales and wouldn't represent the entire book industry, but the company's role as the world's largest online bookseller gives it a significant effect on books as a whole and implies change elsewhere. Many iPad owners, despite getting a more expensive tablet, use it as an e-reader and are more likely to buy books through Apple's tablet than before, including through Amazon's Kindle app.
Kessel also acknowledged that Amazon has been testing the prospect of color displays for Kindles and said this included Qualcomm's mirasol display technology, which uses the same principle behind butterfly wings to produce color without needing constant power. He was quick to dismiss the idea that a color Kindle would arrive soon and warned it wouldn't appear if it compromised reading.
Qualcomm's marketing director for the group developing mirasol, Cheryl Goodman, has reportedly teased that her company may have a deal with Amazon for displays, but she didn't confirm any plans or give a hint at a possible timeframe.