E-paper Display Market Reaches $1.17 Billion in 2014
Themochromic, electrochromic and electrowetting displays are already being used in a diverse range of applications from the world's first disposable display on a gift card in 2003 (electrochromic) and battery testers (thermochromic) to indicators on batteryless, wireless switches (electrowetting).
Number one by a long way is E-ink, which was recently purchase by Taiwan based PVI, who makes Amazon's Kindle display and most other e-reader displays. AUO recently purchased a major stake in Sipix, and is penned to launch e-reader modules. The display makers in East Asia are involved in development, as one would expect, but the display technology frontplane itself is being pioneered on a much more global basis, including spin outs from Philips (Liquavista) to start ups such as Ajjer (electrochromic) and Tred displays.
For e-readers, content is King
Apple sold approximately 200,000 iPods in its first year of sales. It is reported that Amazon sold approximately 500,000 e-readers - the "Kindle" - in its first year of sales, and has since reported being sold out as it tries to keep up with demand. Amazon's Kindle is only one of more than 20 e-readers available, but it has been the most successful due to the wide range of content it supports. Amazon anticipates sales of 1 million Kindle units in 2009. In the first quarter of 2009, sales of e-book digital content for e-readers increased to $25 million from $5 million the previous quarter according to industry sources. Others such as book store giant Barnes & Noble is rapidly getting involved too, opening what they claim is the world's largest e-book store online. They are supporting the Plastic Logic e-reader due to be launched in early 2010. The publishing industry, seeing its advertisement revenues steeply decline in recent years, is rapidly vying for new revenue models with e-readers.