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ereaders.jpgNick Hampshire, Senior Analyst, mediaIDEAS

Expect prices to drop to $50 by 2020. Color display technology development will be especially important and will replace black and white displays by 2015 and by 2020 95% of all displays will be color. Flexible displays will replace rigid displays and will allow the reader to be rolled or folded. Will fall into 3 categories: rigid displays; bendable displays, which will be seen this year; rollable and foldable displays, and will take 7% of the market by 2020. 30% ereaders will use multiple wireless communication technologies. Ereaders will begin to communicate among themselves as well as to content systems. Input technology will move to multi-touch display and expect it to be standard interface by 2020.

Content formats will change. Currently have 38 different content formats. Main battle will be between PDF, xml based and Flash. By 2020 all the formats will be xml based. Current epaper displays will be phased out. Expect reader sales to reach 25 billion in 2020. By 2012 will diverge into a family of ereader prices with different designs and displays depending on content requirements. Will be 4 categories: rollable and foldable, under 9″ size; conventional ebook ereader with display under 9″; newspaper ereaders with large monochrome displays and will be used for paper replacement of all types and have monochrome displays; magazine reader with an over 9″ color display. These won’t appear until 2013 with bendable displays and after this introduction by 2015 they will overtake other displays and will dominate the market by 2020. So by 2015 the multiple classes of ereaders will start to converge again. Current iPad not designed for ereading and it is an afterthought: poor battery life, poor display in sunlight, heavy and fragile displays. The dedicated ereader will probably disappear and will be replaced by a tablet based portable computer that is also suitable for ereading.

Display technology: expects current eink technology will fall away because of color and speed problems. Qualcomm technology is highly promising but are limited in size. Need both color and flexibility and feels that Liquavista offers the best option for the future because of its video speed, high quality color and flexibility.

 
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