E Ink Inc News
E Ink announced a new thin and lightweight EPD technology branded E Ink Fina. The Fina uses a very thin glass substrate that enables it to be lighter and thinner than previous E Ink displays. They weigh less than 50% compared to glass-based LCDs and are less than 50% thick. A 13.3" Fina display weighs about 60 grams.
E Ink also announced the first e-reader to use the Fina, the PocketBook CAD reader. This 13.3" device sports a 1Ghz dual-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, a large 8000 mAh battery, Wi-Fi, 3G and it runs Android 4.0.4. It includes a Wacom digitizer for both touch and stylus input.
The YotaPhone with its dual LCD/EPD displays is now shipping in Europe. It costs 499 euros ($675), and Engadget managed to get their hands on one of these phones to post a short hands-on-review. Their conclusion is that even though they want more time to play with this device (and will post a more in-depth review soon), everything they've seen so far is extremely encouraging.
Beside the 4.3" LCD (720p) and 4.3" E Ink (360x640, capacitive touch), the YotaPhone sports a dual-core 1.7Ghz PU, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
E Ink Holdings reported their financial results. The company posted $17.2 million in net profit (compared to a loss of over $34 million in Q2 2013) as major customers launched next-generation e-readers and boosted sales (mostly it seems, in emerging markets such as China, India and the Philippines).
The company says they have a labor shortage in china and they need to hire 1,000 more workers to meet demand.
E Ink announced that it has moved to the new E Ink Innovation Center facility in Billerica, Massachusetts, USA. E Ink announced the move back in January 2013 and now it is complete.
The facility houses research and development (R&D) labs, pilot facilities, test chambers and administrative offices. The new facility represents a $36 million investment, is over 140,000 square feet, can hold up to 400 employees and E Ink hopes this center will reinforce their position as a leading technological business innovator.
E Ink Holdings and MpicoSys unveiled the world's largest tiled ePaper (E Ink) display sign at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The eWall was designed by the architects of the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), as part of a renovation of the North Delegates Lounge, and was donated by the government of The Netherlands. The eWall is 6x7 meters in size and it is made from 231 7.4" E Ink Pearl panels (33 tiles by 7) to a total resolution of 26,400 x 3,360.
The eWall can show scheduling, news and other relevant information to delegates and has a design mode that shows high-res large scale images and it can simply fade seamlessly into an unobtrusive wall when turned off.
E Ink introduced a new monochrome panel technology called Carta. The Carta offers 50% better contrast and a 20% improvement in reflectance a(more whiteness). Amazon's recently announced new Paperwhite e-reader uses Carta displays.
E Ink reported their quarterly results - sales dropped 46% compared to last year, and the company's net loss was $33.6 million. E Ink expects e-reader sales in 2013 to be between 10 to 15 million (the same as in 2012).
In 2011, around 30 million e-readers were sold. Back then analysts expected the market to grow (IDTechEx's "conservative" estimate was that it will grow to 60 million units in 2015) as nobody expected the tablet market to take over reading from e-readers. I still think one of the biggest problems in the e-reader market is that e-readers didn't really change in past years. Even the old Kindles offer a great reading experience and there isn't any compelling reason to upgrade. That's actually very good for everyone (Us consumers, Amazon who makes money from books and not e-readers, and mother earth) - except E Ink themselves, of course.