Kindle 4, color eInk eReader from Hanvon, free religious books

Let’s start with the free kindle books -

  1. Can I Be Sure I’m Saved by R. C. Sproul. Price: Free. Genre: Religious, Christian, Salvation. It hasn’t been reviewed yet – guess people who’ve found their salvation have little time for trivial things like writing reviews.

    Many people in the church today are plagued by doubts about their salvation. Satan whispers that it is impossible that sinners such as they could be in a state of grace, and some churches compound the problem by teaching that it is possible for believers to lose their salvation.

    But assurance of salvation is possible in this life. Indeed, as Dr. R.C. Sproul argues in this Crucial Questions booklet, it is the duty of Christians to make their calling sure (2 Peter 1:10). To help believers reach this goal, Dr. Sproul defines assurance, shows how we can get it, reveals the blessings it confers, and warns of the dangers of false assurance.

  2. A Simple Amish Christmas by Vannetta Chapman. Genre: Religious, Amish, Christmas. Rated 5 stars on 8 reviews.

    Annie Weaver always planned to return home, but the 20-year old RN has lived in Philadelphia for three years now. As her time of rumschpringe is about to come to an abrupt end, bringing for Annie an overwhelming sense of loneliness. She returns home and finds herself face-to-face with a budding romance with an Amish farmer and Annie has several important choices to make.

It’s amusing and disconcerting that 2 free kindle books are now almost a disappointment – Where are the other 9 we were promised?

A Kindle Book Deal

Why is this $1 book showing up in free book searches? No idea.

It does, however, look very interesting – The Demon Girl by Penelope Fletcher. Be warned that it might turn into a free offer later.

Rae Wilder has problems. Plunged into a world of dark magic, fierce creatures and ritual sacrifice, she is charged with a guarding a magical amulet.

Rae finds herself beaten up, repeatedly, and forced to make a choice: to live and die human, or embrace her birth-right and wield magics that could turn her into something wicked, a force of nature nothing can control.

The First Color eInk eReader

It’s got a 9.68″ screen. A screen that is color eInk from the same company (PVI/eInk) that makes the Kindle 3’s eInk Pearl screen. It’ll be available in March 2011 in China – perhaps in the US too. It’ll be priced at $440.

This might be the first color eInk eReader. Of course, Amazon and Mirasol and Sony might spoil its debut between now and then.

New York Times has written a never-ending, rambling, article on the Hanvon Color eInk eReader – you have to wonder why Hanvon would announce 5 months in advance that it will be the first company to sell a color eInk eReader.

NY Times gets us all excited -

… on Tuesday at the FPD International 2010 trade show in Tokyo, a Chinese company will announce that it will be the first to sell a color display using technology from E Ink …

And then drops us back to Earth -

Hanvon’s first product using a 9.68-inch color touch screen will be available this March in China, starting at about $440.

Yes – wait till the 12th paragraph to let us know the trivial meaningless detail that it won’t arrive until March 2011.

We also get some eReader sales estimates from analysts -

Ms. Colegrove of DisplaySearch said these types of lower-cost products should continue to gain market share, growing from four million units sold worldwide in 2009 to 14 million units by 2011.

14 million units in 2011 – Aren’t eReaders dead?

All this talk of color eInk makes it a good time to wonder what screen Kindle 4 will have.

Kindle 4 – Mirasol or Pixel Qi or eInk?

If Hanvon is bringing color eInk to market you have to imagine Amazon can’t be too far behind. A $440 color eReader with a 9.86″ screen is a pretty credible threat to the Kindle DX 2. Additionally, Amazon would appear to be losing the eReader technology race.

Amazon needs a Kindle 4 with a color screen and it has 4 main options -

  1. Kindle Color like Nook Color that has a LCD screen. This is unlikely – Amazon is probably far more interested in a LCD powered Kindle Tablet and is unlikely to position that as a ‘dedicated eReader’.
  2. Pixel Qi with its multi-mode screen that uses LCD but has a black and white reflective mode. Notion Ink’s Adam is supposed to be the first tablet with the Pixel Qi screen. The reactions to it would determine how seriously Amazon and other large companies take Pixel Qi screens. Again, it’s likely that Amazon would use such a screen in a Kindle Tablet and not in Kindle 4.
  3. Mirasol is the most likely candidate. You have to imagine Amazon is sick and tired of the glacial rate at which eInk has been evolving its technology. Qualcomm also happens to be a much bigger and much more reliable company. If you had to choose a color ePaper technology for Kindle 4 – Would you go with Qualcomm or PVI/eInk?
  4. PVI/eInk has the advantage of being the incumbent and also being one of the few companies that have their ePaper screens being used in the real world. Amazon might go with color eInk from PVI. To the best of my understanding – Color eInk = eInk Pearl with a color layer over it.

Mirasol is the only option that’s exciting. The first 2 options are more suitable for an Android powered Kindle Tablet. PVI/eInk’s color eInk is not going to be as sharp or high contrast as eInk Pearl because it’s probably going to be the same screen with a color creating layer over it – which reduces reflectivity.

In terms of timing it’s quite conceivable that Amazon lets Hanvon bear the cost of validating the market and then steps in with a color Kindle 4 in mid to end 2011 if there seems to be strong demand. It’s a risky strategy but Amazon has enough branding, enough of a lead, and a strong-enough Kindle eco-system to bear the risk.

6 Responses

  1. i think kindle 4 will use the eink color version. Theres no real big rush for color animation to play movies that mirosol provide. A simple still color eink version for kindle 4 is enough to wet the appetite

    i agree that mirasol is more exciting

  2. What is this “color filter”? Is there any info about it?

    I suspect that it is basically a LCD (with out back-light) putted on top of e-ink. But in this case its color gamut should be very, very narrow.

    • There was a post somewhere about it. It’ll be hard to find. What it said was that because eInk Pearl has much better reflectivity it would be possible to put a color layer over it and still get the same reflectivity as in the earlier generation eInk screens. A sort of trade-off – color in return for less reflectivity. There wasn’t much detail.

  3. Who cares? Especially for $440!!! The books I read have never been in color and the only magazine I get on the Kindle, Reader’s Digest, looks great in shades of gray.

  4. I have long said that a color ereader IS a big deal- even though 98% of my reading is straight text- and I do NOT need blue/red text to read.

    BUT, color will make a big difference for magazines, comics and childern’s books. That said, it needs to be VERY good, rich color, which I think rules the E-ink screen out.

    I think being patient and getting the RIGHT color screen is more important than getting it out fast.

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