Kindle Tablet Does Not Mean eInk’s Death

As much as I’ve insisted that eInk is restraining the progress of digital books, Amazon won’t abandon its eInk Kindle.

Bezos said as much on Charlie Rose. Requoting from my earlier post:

They want a purpose-built device where no tradeoffs have been made, where every single design decision as you’re walking down the process has been made to optimize for reading.

The number one thing that people are doing on their iPad right now if you look at the rankings is playing a game called “Angry Birds” where you throw birds at pigs and the pigs blow up. The number one thing that people are doing on their Kindle right now is reading Stieg Larsson.


I think we live in a multi-device world. You’re going to have a tablet computer like an iPad or one of its competitors. You’re going to have a smart phone, you’re going to have a laptop. The tablet computer isn’t going to replace the laptop because there are times when you want to write a long memo or a long email message or an article … And likewise, if you want to sit down and read a 300-page book the Kindle is the perfect device to sit back and read a 300-page book.

And outside of Charlie Rose:

We will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device.

eInk will die when the market for it dries up.

People are still buying the Nook Touch, the latest generation of eInk device. They’re buying because it’s eInk. Rooting it to be a near-tablet and loving the battery life, lightness, low price, and outdoors readability.

Most likely, Mirasol’s screen will have to come along to kill eInk. Pixel Qi doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and its screen is heavier than eInk too.

I’d be surprised if Amazon didn’t release a Kindle with Touch this year. But perhaps Bezos figured that this year he could do better with cutting the current eInk Kindle’s price some more rather than amortize the costs of a new design as well as suffer new calls to tech support.

Plus, he’ll have his hands full getting the Kindle Tablet out the door to meet demand. Trying to do that with two new products would only make things worse for everybody.

Lastly, if the Sony Reader can be rooted like the Nook Touch, Bezos might have decided he needs to get Android in the next Kindle so he can attract additional sales to people who want to turn it into something else. A buck is a buck.

No matter what, eInk is still here and will be for at least another year, if not more.



Filed under Amazon Kindle, eBooks: Screens, eInk Devices

6 responses to “Kindle Tablet Does Not Mean eInk’s Death

  1. Just what has happened to Pixel Qi? It’s on-again/off-again, it seems.

  2. P.S. You’ve misspelled Mirasol in the 6th paragraph. The “s” is missing!

  3. Jesslyn

    No, not the weOS of screens, the Plastic Logic QUE of screens!

  4. Another possible reason: they’re waiting for the screen that will come after e-ink Pearl, and for the plastic substrates which will make the reader lighter and more durable.

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