Digitimes is reporting that Amazon has ordered color e-ink panels from E Ink Holdings. The 6-inch color e-ink panels could potentially make it into the next generation Kindle Touch e-readers, which would be the first e-ink readers from Amazon to feature a color display. Though Amazon has the Kindle Fire tablet, based on Google’s Android operating system, that tablet utilizes a color LCD screen rather than e-ink technology. According to Digitimes, “Shipments of the touched-enabled e-book reader modules are expected to top three million units a month.”
E-ink technology boasts better readability under direct sunlight, better power and energy efficiency, and causes less eye fatigue when used over long periods of time.
Int he past, Amazon has stated that it was researching color e-ink displays, but was not ready to mass produce them. Color e-ink displays in the past were either expensive or did not offer a good enough user experience as colors appear washed out and not as saturated or rich as LCD displays. Since color e-ink was announced, competing low-energy, high sunlight readable panels have emerged featuring color, a high refresh rate for videos, and power efficiency. Some examples of those competing technologies include Qualcomm’s Mirasol display as well as Pixel Qi. However, neither of those products nor color e-ink has found much mass market penetration yet. In the interim, Samsung has been heavily investing itself in AMOLED-based displays, such as the Super AMOLED and Super AMOLED Plus displays.
Separately, Digitimes is also reporting that Amazon is working on a ten-inch version of its Amazon Kindle Fire Android tablet. That tablet will have a color LCD screen.