updated 01:50 am EDT, Thu October 7, 2010
Qualcomm expects mirasol to be cheap
Qualcomm sat down with Electronista this past evening to discuss its mirasol display tech and provided a handful of insights beyond what's known. Spokespeople told us that mirasol likely won't have a significant price premium over existing displays. While the device makers will set the final price, Qualcomm wants to proliferate the unique color, very low power screens and doesn't want to ask for significantly more.
Multiple devices in the pipeline helps as it improves the viability of charging relatively little, Qualcomm said.
The company added that there wasn't any technical limitation to making large mirasol displays but that its focus was for now on small or medium screens, where devices are usually very reliant on battery life to work. Mirasol doesn't need a backlight and should lead to e-readers, smartphones and tablets that run for days rather than hours. A 40 to 50 percent boost in battery life was seen as very conservative.
To fuel interest, Qualcomm has already talked to content producers such as magazines to help them see what they can do with the content and explore deals with others. The newcomer to displays floated the possibility of subsidized mirasol devices or bundles tied to a single publisher. Just by having support for animation and video made it potentially alluring, since a company could focus on a single area like e-reading but still have gaming and video an option for others.
The first mirasol devices should be unveiled at or near CES and will usually ship in the first half of the year, if not the first quarter. Those will be e-reader-like but with a tablet aspect, while later developments will bring smartphones.