LG, the famous maker of liquid crystal displays, has made a pact and small investment deal with Prime View International, giving LG a first toe into the water of electronic paper displays.
The company will purchase $30.5 million of Prime View’s bonds, and will initiate a technology share to allow LG access to Prime View’s e-paper expertise.
Electronic paper has risen in popularity with such devices as the Kindle and Nook capturing the eye of the mainstream consumer. Many heavy book readers were sceptical of reading books in digital format, but electronic ink and paper have encouraged them to make the leap.
This does cast a dirty light on the theoretically upcoming Apple iSlate. There have been rumors that Apple will be launching a new digital media content store with the device, to sell magazines, books, and the like on the iSlate. It is a natural progression for iTunes: music, then television and film, and finally words and letters.
However, it seems clear that consumers have resonated well with the Kindle screen format. As we noted above, it was electronic paper that got many people to finally put down real pages for a reading device. Admittedly, this has not yet caught on for periodicals.
If Apple does create the device that is rumored, it will have a more standard screen, which people tend to recoil against reading on. A prime example of this is Paul Carr’s recent release of his book in pdf format. Commenters were quick to whine that it was overly eye straining to read such a amount of words on a normal monitor.
Perhaps we are seeing an interesting new divergence: long and medium form content on electronic paper, and very short reads on normal screens. If that is the case, Apple will have a tougher sale on its forthcoming tablet, if it is intending to shake up another market.
Of course, the iSlate could have an electronic paper screen, but I will try and restrain myself from rumormongering. What do you think? If Apple does release a tablet, will you be willing to read anything over three hundred words on it?
As a concluding thought, you just did, but on your current monitor.