The Likebook Mars is now shipping for $239 (note: affiliate link to Amazon.com). This is a high-spec e-reader/tablet that features a 7.8" 1404x1872 (300 PPI) E Ink display, an octa-core RK3368 chipset, 2GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, microSD and a modified Android OS.
E Ink Holdings says ESL and e-notebook display shipments growth will offset the expected decline in e-reader display shipments in 2018
E Ink Holdings estimates that its 2018 revenues will be little changed from its 2017 revenues (of about $495 million) as growth in ESL and e-notebook revenues will offset the decline in e-reader demand.
E Ink says that its e-reader customers are "adjusting their product portfolios to changing demand" in 2018 - which reduces demand for new devices and thus demand for its e-reader E Ink displays. Next year, however, e-reader market growth is expected to resume.
E Ink Holdings' president, Johnson Lee, says that demand for electronic shelf labels (ESL) displays is high - and in 2018 the company expects ESL displays to surpass e-reader displays in terms of area shipments.
This is very good news for EIH as the e-reader market has stagnated for years - and it is rather surprising for many as we have all been used to consider e-readers to be the main market for e-paper displays.
Here's a short video showing E Ink's booth at SID Displayweek 2018, where the company demonstrated its latest E Ink displays, devices and prototypes. Some of these displays looked very good, especially the new color panels!
E Ink had some very interesting displays in there - including the new medical patch developed with LTS, the high resolution (400 PPI and 600 PPI) E Ink developed together with JDI, a range of new writing pads (from Sony, ReMarkable and Onyx Boox), the GVIDO music stand display, plastic logic's OTFT-powered panels and E Ink's upcoming beautiful color e-paper displays.
E Ink Holdings say that it expects low demand for e-paper displays in the first half of 2018, as the e-reader market is set for a low season as customers are transitioning to new models and are not ordering new displays (but rather use these in their inventories). E-reader displays account for about 70% of E Ink's revenues in 2017.
Displays for e-notebooks and electronics shelf labels are expected to grow in the period, but apparently this won't be enough to offset the low demand for e-reader displays.
E Ink Holdings (EIH) reported its financial results for Q3 2017, with revenues of $158.8 million (up 7.8% from Q3 2016 and 29.8% from Q2 2017) and a net profit of of $38.8 million.
E Ink says that these excellent results were due to a sharp increase in e-reader and e-paper notebook sales and improvements in operation efficiency and production yields. E-reader and notebook sales accounted for 70% of EIH's revenues.
Visionect recently appointed Sri Pervuemba to its board of directory. Sri is a long time display veteran and was E Ink's chief marketing manager for over 10 years. Sri is also a good friend and has been supporting E-Ink-Info from its launch. Sri was kind enough to answer a few questions we had regarding the e-paper market and Visionect's technology and platform.
But first, an official bio: Sri Peruvemba is the CEO of Marketer International. His 25 years of experience in the electronics industry include marketing LCD, CRT, TFEL, OLED, LED, Plasma and ePaper displays into the consumer, mobile, industrial, medical, signage and TV markets. He earned a BSEE, a MBA and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management. He was previously CMO for E Ink and also held senior level positions at Sharp Corp, TFS Inc., Planar Systems and Suntronic Technology. Peruvemba currently serves as Director on the Board of Visionect Inc., as well as on the board of the Society for Information Display(SID).
Market research firm Technavio says that the global e-paper market is expected to grow at a very fast rate of 39% CAGR.
The top three segments of the e-paper market, according to Technavio, are e-readers, mobile displays and public displays. E-readers are still the main e-paper display application, and E Ink itself also says that the market is finally set to start growing after years of decline and stagnation.
E Ink Holdings reported its financial results for Q2 2017. E Ink's revenues were $121 million USD while profit totaled $31 million USD. EIH's gross margin increased from 35.1% in Q2 2016 to 39.5% in Q2 2017.
E Ink expects that electronic shelf labels sales will continue to grow in the rest of 2017. A report from China suggests that E Ink has orders from Amazon, the Alibaba Group and China-based jd.com. The same report also says that e-reader sales are expected to finally grow again as these readers are now entering the Chinese and Indian markets.
E Ink Holdings reported its financial results for 2016, with the first operating profit in five years. The company was still profitable, due to royalty earnings, but now its operations are profitable too - in 2016 operating income was NT$61 million ($2 million USD).
The company's chairman says that the improvement stems from a better product mix, enhanced productivity - and the company's new asset-light policy and divestment from unprofitable business. E Ink quite the LCD market to focus on its e-paper technologies. New sales drivers are e-paper displays, electronic shelf labels and electronic signages. Demand from e-reader remains stable and E Ink actually expects annual growth in that market.