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Amazon said queuing 6-inch color E Ink reader, 10-inch Fire

updated 12:10 am EST, Mon February 20, 2012

Amazon dips into color e-paper and big tablet

A pair of leaks Sunday night have pointed to Amazon both growing its tablet line and dipping into color e-paper for the firs time. E Ink is supposedly getting orders for a six-inch, color e-paper display, Taiwan's Economic Daily News said. The production would start very quickly, in March, with production scaling up to as much as three million a month.

Meanwhile, Digitimes had heard from part suppliers that Amazon had supposedly picked Foxconn for 10-inch Kindle Fire models and would start shipping somewhat later, during the spring. The company wouldn't be picking its existing manufacturer Quanta, which used the BlackBerry PlayBook as the starting point for the heavy changes that led to the current, seven-inch Kindle Fire.

Neither is confirmed, although corroborating support had Amazon switching suppliers to cut prices, with Foxconn a likely target. E Ink has had color paper in the public eye since at least 2010, although they've seen little adoption outside of Japan due to the low color gamut and high prices.

The combination of a color E Ink reader and a 10-inch Kindle Fire would have Amazon branching further away from its focus on reading towards general purpose, more tablet-like uses. Color e-paper would allow both magazines as well as some general apps that don't depend heavily on movement. Most rumors surrounding a 10-inch Kindle Fire have had it shifting even more attention to video and being the real highlight of the lineup where the seven-inch Fire had been intended as a quick introductory model. Going to 10 inches would put it in more direct contention with the iPad.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Inkling

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jul 2006

    +1

    Yawn, color eInk

    I suspect the fuss over color eink is driven by media pundits clueless about the technological issues involved and driven, as usual, by an obsession with some new toy to gush about.

    Color eink would given up one of the key advantages of eink screens, their marvelous clarity in all light levels, to give us what in comparison to an LCD is only washed out, slow-to-update colors. Pictures would look poor and, apart from pictures, there's little reason to use color for digital printing. Most colors don't have enough contrast with white to be easily readable. A color tinted background is nice, but not of much importance. The only area that'd benefit would be simple illustrations, i.e. a map of the states in the US, and few publications make much use of that..

    Amazon would do better if they'd improve the versatility of what b&w eink Kindles do, making them more multi-functional. Right now, all my Kindle 3 is good for is reading books. A full-featured Instapaper for it would be marvelous, as would productivity apps like a weekly calendar.


  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Jan 2008

    +3

    Times they are a changing...

    When only this time last year, Amazon was professing that the Kindle was never nor ever would be intended as an iPad competitor. Funny how a little success can change an entire strategy.

    Still, it's the most appreciable alternative to the iPad and puts to shame the blatant rip-off mindset of Samsung, Motorola, etc Android hacks. As was seen in the iPhone, a competitive and innovative option brings out the best, and often quickest, improvements to Apple's products, in this case the iPad.

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