The Nexus 7: Google ships a tablet
Posted Aug 4, 2012 9:54 UTC (Sat) by khim
In reply to: The Nexus 7: Google ships a tablet
Parent article: The Nexus 7: Google ships a tablet
There is no reason the price of an E-ink reader might not fall from $70 to $7 even as the price of LCD devices falls too.
Yes, there is. Even if price of eink display will go to zero you'll still need CPU, battery, plastic case, buttons, etc. Remember "10 dollar computer" fiasco? You forget that any such device combines some new-and-comping-technologies (which price tends to go down fast) and old-and-polished technologies. And when price of new-and-comping-components go down price of old technologies starts to dominate. Take a look on calculator prices some time. Large ones (which include similar amount of plastic as e-ink reader) are stuck at $30-$40 price point for decades (you can buy them cheaper if they are sold from closeout bins, but their titular price stays the same).
eInk devices have not [yet] reached the bottom, but they are pretty close to this point, they will never go down to $7.
Indeed, your argument could equally well be applied to show that LCDs are inevitably on the way out to be replaced by E-ink displays; people are saying that "LCD is here to stay" and that "E-ink has inferior refresh rate and colour", but that is just the same things they said about CRTs, and E-ink is good enough and cheaper...
Nope. They are not good enough. You can use LCD to do things which you can do with eInk (take a look on this thread: quite a few people actually prefer LCD to eInk), but you can not watch video on eInk device. Period. Full stop. These technologies have run out of time: when they were introduced it was impossible to watch video on a tablet anyway (2-4lbs ones with Intel CPU were too unwieldy to actually use and thin and light ARM-based lacked power to easily show video). Today - this is basic requirement. There was some hope but it's now squashed. This is the end of the line for eInk-like devices. Years from now we may debate pluses and minuses of the world where LCD/OLED lost and technologies like eInk/Mirasol/etc won but it'll not be our world.
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