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Color eInk Screens are what eReaders have been Waiting For, Right?

Nov 8 2010, 7:54am CST | by , in News | Hot Gadgets

Color eInk Screens are what eReaders have been Waiting For, Right?
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Color eInk screens are here

The print newspaper and magazine industry has been hit hard with the glut of consumers that now get their news directly from the web rather than from papers and magazines. At the same time subscriber numbers are shrinking, the print publication industry is seeing advertising money dry up as well. There are many giants in the newspaper industry and magazine publishers that think digital readers are the answer to their hopes.

The problem with the current crop of eReaders is that they are black and white only and readers of magazines want color so they can enjoy the photos and other content. A new color eInk screen has surfaced that may be just what the print industry has been waiting for. The screen will be seen for the first time at the FPD International show in Tokyo and will come from a Chinese firm who is the first to sell a device with a color screen.

The iPad and Nook color both use color screens, but those screens are LCDs like we find on smartphones and computers. The eInk screen is not an LCD and can still show color. The eInk screens have no backlight which makes them take much less power to operate and they are easier to read in direct sunlight than similar LCDs. The company that will be unveiling the new color eInk screen is called Hanvon and the company is the largest in the Chinese eReader market with 78% share.

The eReader the firm is unveiling has a 9.68-inch color screen and the device will ship in March for the equivalent of $440 and it has WiFi and 3G connectivity. Hanvon says that the color eReader is not meant to be an iPad competitor and is merely an eReader along the lines of the Kindle.

Will this color tech save the print publications market? No. The basic flaw with those in the print publication market is that they seem to think readers will pay whatever they tell us to for their news and that simply is not the case. So far, the average digital publication costs as much or more than the same print publication and most consumers simply won’t pay that. We all know a digital publication is much cheaper than the print version that has printing and delivery costs associated, yet some publishers want us to pay more. Digital reading fans just aren't interested in subsidizing failing print publications.

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