Qualcomm revealed in their latest financial conference call that it scrapped Mirasol production plans. The company will no longer attempt to produce these panels, but will try to license the technology for other companies to produce. They will also limit their direct commercialization to "certain" devices - I'm not totally sure what this means.
That's sad news, as the technology is very interesting, and the prototypes shown at SID 2012 were very impressive (above you can see 1.5" 288x192 30Hz Mirasol display panel prototypes). The company did produce some 5.7" color panels (and three e-readers are shipping using those panels) Apparently Qualcomm didn't manage to overcome the low production yields. Mirasol production was planned since back in January 2011, but were later delayed several times. The original plan was to invest $1 billion in a Taiwan-based factory.
Kyobo (a leading Korean book retailer) launched its first e-reader today - and it uses a color Mirasol display - a capacitive touch 5.7" 1024x768 panel with Qualcomm's front-light LED technology that can illuminate the display. Other features include a 1Ghz processor, Android v2.3 and Wi-Fi. The e-reader is now shipping in Korea for around $300.
Mirasol explain delays, shows 4.1" mobile phone concept, expects at least one 5.7" e-reader by end of 2011
There's a very interesting post over at Engadget about Mirasol displays. The company is showing a concept 4.1" phone which looks nice, but these kind of displays are 3-4 years away. The company says that they were actually expecting several e-reader products with Mirasol displays, but Apple iPad changed all that and all the device makers scrapped their plans. They do expect at least one converged e-reader with a 5.7" Mirasol display by the end of the year.
Read more over at Engadget.
Here's a nice video from CES showing the new color E Ink display as used in the Hanvon reader, and also a color Mirasol display. It's nice to compare them:
There are reports that PocketBook will release an e-reader at CES 2011 (January) - the first one with a Mirasol display. This will be a color display featuring 12fps refresh rate. PocketBook says that this is a mistake, but the information was included in an official PR...