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Amazon Buys Sunlight Readable Color Display Company Liquavista 56

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the dreaming-of-pixel-qi dept.
Nate the greatest writes "It looks like those 4 month old rumors are true. Amazon has confirmed today that they have bought Liquavista, a Netherlands based screen tech company. There's no info yet on how much Amazon paid to Samsung, but previous rumors suggested that the asking price was under $100 million. Amazon also isn't talking about how they plan to use the electrowetting screen tech, but many are assuming that a Color Kindle is in the works."
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Amazon Buys Sunlight Readable Color Display Company Liquavista

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  • Well of course. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday May 13, 2013 @07:49PM (#43715549)

    Amazon also isn't talking about how they plan to use the electrowetting screen tech, but many are assuming that a Color Kindle is in the works."

    Something I learned many, many years ago watching Apple's amazing marketing division at work. Leak. Leak early, leak often. Spread rumors. But deny everything. This accomplishes two things: First, it gives you very accurate marketing data on what your customers are expecting and want. Second, it creates an atmosphere of expectation and excitement. By carefully modulating these things, you can multiply the amount of advertising for your product many, many times over what conventional marketing can do.

    Amazon is just taking a page from Apple's playbook.

    • by alen (225700) on Monday May 13, 2013 @07:54PM (#43715597)

      Microsoft did this in the 90's

      Windows 8 is still missing features hyped almost 20 years ago

    • Whatever. Perhaps Apple denies everything because the rumors were just that: rumors. Their has been rumors of an iPhone mini every since the iPhone came out. That hasn't been true yet. I remember when the iPad 2 came out in early Spring, there were rumors of an iPad 3 in early fall. That made no sense. There were rumors of an iPad mini. Well after a few years, the rumors were true. The iPhone and iPad releases are fairly predictable so rumors of a new iPhone coming out this fall won't exactly be a s
    • Could you please direct us to the factual basis for your claims that Apple deliberately leaks information as a marketing tactic?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/how_apple_does_controlled_leaks

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      Something I learned many, many years ago watching Apple's amazing marketing division at work. Leak. Leak early, leak often.

      Pst ... don't tell anyone but there's going to be a great new HURD desktop.

  • My kindle is color... do they mean color e-ink?

    • by Dynedain (141758)

      Yes, this is a company with color e-ink technology.

      • Re:uh... (Score:4, Informative)

        by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Monday May 13, 2013 @09:16PM (#43716097)

        No, they're not. It's not eInk at all. It's a new method of building a color LCD panel that is reflective. Entirely different.

        Color eInk already exists. Google the Etaco Jetbook Color. 4096 colors and slow refresh rate (like B/W eInk). Not the same thing other than they're both reflective, color displays.

        • by tricorn (199664)

          It isn't e-ink, but it also isn't an LCD. RTFA.

          • by Dynedain (141758)

            It's very similar to e-ink, the way LCD is similar to the same technology that's been powering your clock for 30 years.

            "Color e-ink" is a good shorthand way of thinking about it.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Electrowetting has actually been around 10 years at least, and when I wrote an essay on the topic some 5 years ago I found a lot of studies on the subject albeit mostly by the same few authors:

          http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=electrowetting [google.com]

          At the time when I was studying the subject the spotlight was on LCD- and OLED-displays, as they were evolving rapidly. Electrowetting was not at the time utilized anywhere, except for conceptual designs and prototypes.

          To be honest, I hadn't followed up on the topic at

  • Samsung just bought Liquavista in 2012.. interesting.. How will that work? I mean Samsung is more than likely going to use this technology.
    • by Dynedain (141758)

      Samsung just bought Liquavista in 2012.. interesting.. How will that work? I mean Samsung is more than likely going to use this technology.

      Well clearly they're not planning to use it and instead are selling it Amazon.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Samsung sold Liquavista to Amazon and likely all IP and licensing rigths. According to rumors, it was sold at the same price they bought it for. So Samsung took a big wash on the deal since they put a lot of resources into the company in while they held it.


    • Samsung just bought Liquavista in 2012.. interesting.. How will that work? I mean Samsung is more than likely going to use this technology.

      If I had to guess, Samsung gets a perpetual license to the technology at a small cost+ margin while Amazon foots the R&D bill. Probably Samsung was moving too slowly for what Amazon wanted, Bezos thought he could do better, so he made Samsung a win-win deal.

      • by puppetman (131489)

        That's a good guess, but wouldn't Samsung rather have the technology and any potential patents?

        Samsung is pretty good at making smart technology moves - buying factories, and other companies at the right time, and then dominating the market. You would think that this would be a nice technology to have with their tv/tablet/phone/laptop screen technology.

        So maybe there are issues with the company (inept management, etc), intellectual property (ie the violate someone's patents), or technology (there are still

        • Or maybe Samsung sees the future on OLED, and doesn't want to spend resources on a stepping-stone technology

          Yeah, good call. Amazon needs to stay top dog continuously, for its business model. $100M for three years of dominance might well be a good bargain. Samsung could skip a few years and wind up with the best display technology (which Amazon would buy) and they'd both still do well.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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