Making the Kindle – Lab 126, eInk, PVI, FoxConn

There are a lot of facts about the Kindle that aren’t well known – In this article I’m going to discuss some of the companies involved in the making of the Kindle (thanks to Igor for mentioning FoxConn) -

  1. Lab 126 – The Amazon subsidiary where Kindle was created. It seems that they will continue to develop Kindle iterations, and possibly even related products.
  2. Payne LLC (courtesy CrunchGear) – The Front Company used by Amazon when the Kindle was under development (perhaps to sign contracts etc).
  3. eInk Corporation makes the Visiplex Imaging Film that is used in the Kindle. It seems like they created the technology and own it (not sure), and have PVI manufacture on their behalf.
  4. Prime View International (PVI) make the actual screen for the Kindle. PVI was founded in 1992, and in early 2005, PVI entered the e-paper business via the acquisition of Philips e-Paper Display Division. It’s not totally clear to me – however it seems like eInk corporation has the technology and PVI manufactures the screens. PVI manufactures LCDs and EPDs (electrophoretic displays i.e. kindle screens), and lately have been switching over to more EPDs and less LCDs.
  5. FoxConn (trade name for the Hon Hai Precision Industry Company Ltd) - This is an Original Design Manufacturer for the Kindle i.e. it manufactures the Kindles which ultimately are branded as ‘Amazon Kindle’ and sold by Amazon. Foxconn was founded in 1974, and is literally everywhere –  

    Foxconn produces the Mac mini, the iPod and the iPhone for Apple Computer; Intel-branded motherboards for Intel Corp.; various orders for American computer retailers Dell, Inc. and Hewlett Packard; the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 for Sony; the Wii for Nintendo;the Xbox 360 for Microsoft, cell phones for Motorola, and Amazon Kindle

    I was amazed to find out that the sockets for my Intel Core 2 Duo based ASUS laptop are probably made by them too. They even make the Pleo Robot. FoxConn employs 450,000 people in China. It also has manufacturing in other countries including Hungary, India, Vietnam, Mexico, Brazil, and Czech Republic. They had revenues in 2006 of $40.1 billion.

  6. The brain of the Kindle is an Intel PXA255 processor (courtesy HowStuffWorks.com). Not going to write much about Intel – they’re a wee bit paranoid.

I’ll add on more later - for now these are some of the most important companies that play a part in making the kindle.

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