Kindle rumors hint at major upgrade in the works

Will the next generation of Amazon's Kindle eReaders feature dramatic innovation such as color or a lighted display?

By Jeff Bertolucci, PC World |  Personal Tech, Amazon, Amazon Kindle

The Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported in February that electrophoretic display (EPD) maker E Ink Holdings had received an order from Amazon to build millions of 6-inch color eReaders.

A color e-Ink Kindle would target a different user demographic than the popular Kindle Fire, which has a 7-inch color LCD and is designed for tablet-style activities like gaming and video streaming--two uses poorly suited for today's non-backlit, monochrome e-paper displays with very low refresh rates.

A color e-Ink screen might make the Kindle more appealing to readers (and publishers) of children's books, graphic novels, and textbooks.

The Future Is Flexible

The next-gen Kindle likely won't incorporate something as cutting-edge as a bendable display, but we may soon see flexible eReaders from Amazon's competitors.

LG last month announced it has begun manufacturing a flexible plastic e-ink display with a 1024 by 768-pixel resolution. The durable yet thin screen, which doesn't need a sheet of glass for protection, is slated to arrive in Europe as early as this month.

Finally, the future may bring hybrid, switchable displays that offer the best of both worlds: color LCD for tablet-oriented tasks such as games and video; and monochrome e-ink for reading, predicts IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell.

Contact Jeff Bertolucci at Today@PCWorld, Twitter (@jbertolucci) or jbertolucci.blogspot.com.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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