According to reports, Wexler has discontinued its Flex One e-Reader. The Flex One was only available in Russia and never launched in other countries. The company will announce a new e-reader in April, we don't know if it'll also sport a flexible E Ink panel.
The Flex One used LG's flexible plastic based E Ink panel (6", XGA 1024x768), and in fact almost the whole device (besides the bottom part) is made from plastic and so can be bent - and is quite shatterproof (and very light).
According to eMarketer, e-readers (devices with e-paper displays) still enjoyed a strong growth in 2012 - 44.2% in fact compared to 2011. They expect e-reader ownership to continue moderate growth in coming years. It is estimated that 50 million Americans used an e-reader at least monthly in 2012.
Amazon published a commercial yesterday teasing us with two new Kindle devices. One seems to be a color tablet, and the other (show on 0:18 for a second) a black&white e-reader:
We'll probably learn more later today during Amazon's press event...
Bridgestone announced that they are withdrawing from the e-paper business. Bridgestone had developed a color e-paper technology called Aerobee. They developed it in collaboration with Delta Electronics who had plans to start producing e-paper panels and e-readers (but not in the near future). It's not clear what Delta's future plans will be.
This is sad news for the e-paper market, which is facing tough times as e-readers shipments drop (mostly because tablets are proving to be adequate e-readers for many people). I still think that a tablet cannot really compete with an e-reader for reading books, but we'll have to wait and see where the market is going...
Fujitsu is showing a new color e-paper eReader prototype - with a 4096 colors, 8" display (157 PPI that offers 8:1 contrast ratio. This is a linux-based system with a new fast processor (refresh rate of 0.7 seconds) and ePub and PDF support. It weights only 220 grams.
Delta Electronics is developing e-paper technologies (based on Bridgestone's color E-Paper technology), and planned to launch a 8.2" and 13.1" color e-readers soon. But now we hear that the company says that e-reader demand is not strong currently (the market was severely impacted by tablets) and the company decided to wait for the right time to enter the market. The company is still optimistic about the future potential of e-paper applications.
Delta invested NT2-3 billion (which is about $70-$105 million) in e-paper production in its plants in Taiwan. Delta currently produces e-paper for labels, magazine and digital signage.
Amazon has produced a nice new advertisement for the Kindle title "The Book Lives On":