E-readers are in a strange place right now. While the devices were once the bees knees of consumer electronics, they’ve since been eclipsed by the meteoric rise of LCD-based smartphones and tablets.
Which is why it’s not a big surprise to hear that Samsung is looking to sell Liquavista, the E-ink company it purchased in 2011. Even more interesting is the potential buyer — Amazon, a company that could do a lot of interesting things with its own e-reader display unit.
While Samsung hasn’t yet confirmed that it’s looking to sell Liquavista, it’s not a big secret why it would want to dump the company. According to IHS, E-reader shipments will sink 27 percent to 10.9 million units this year, largely because the things haven’t changed a lick since they were introduced (minus some improvements with contrast and refresh rates).
The reality is this: While they’re nice to read on, e-readers’ lack of full-color means that reading is just about the only thing owners can do with them. And at a time when people prize versatility above all else, that just doesn’t fly.
This is where Liquavista fits in. Liquavista specializes in so-called “electrowetting” displays, which combine the benefits of LCD screens (i.e., color, video playback support) with the energy-saving properties of e-ink.
Consumers may not actually want a full-color Kindle eReader, but an Amazon buy of Liquavista purchase could help give it to them.