Prime View International (PVI), a pioneer in TFT display development and e-paper, has said today that it has reached an agreement to acquire E Ink Corp for $215 million. E Ink Corp. makes the display for the Amazon Kindle e-book reader. The new company will expand capacity and develop improvements for ePaper display screens that are easy on the eyes, long-lasting, and highly portable. ePaper is ideal for reading of digital documents which are less wasteful, more convenient and more up-to-date than paper documents.
E Ink and PVI currently support nearly 20 eBook manufacturers worldwide. In addition to electronic books, E Ink?s Vizplex imaging film is used in cellphones, signage, smartcards, memory devices, and battery indicators. E Ink sales were $18M in the first quarter of 2009, up 157% over the same quarter in 2008.
At this year's BookExpo America, Amazon is seeing stronger competition selling e-books from its potential rival, Google. According to a report from New York Times, "Google signaled its intent to introduce a program that would enable publishers to sell digital versions of their newest books direct to consumers through Google." Why does Amazon think the competition is getting stiffer?
- Google says they?ll let publishers set their own prices (and with Amazon selling <$10 e-versions of $26 hardbacks, publishers are sure to jump at the chance?however, readers may not be quite as happy to comply. Also, Google reserved the right to adjust ?exorbitant? prices.).
- Google?s already established Book Search Mobile, offering 1.5 million e-texts to the Sony e-Reader, biggest competitor to Amazon?s Kindle as well as mobile phones. A new deal would make text available to those devices as well as Internet browsers.