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.