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Sony Corp., the pioneer of electronic book readers, said that while colour screens provide some advantages to certain kinds of content, the company is not seriously excited about e-book readers with colour screens. Not only such screens consume more than black and white electronic paper displays (EPDs) Sony uses today, but they also do not provide the same quality of text, the company said.

“There are some contents that require a color e-book reader like magazines, photo albums and picture books. Of course, we are considering making color e-book readers, but there is no [colour] electronic paper whose quality is high enough for us. We could use LCD panels, but we would like to use electronic paper for our main products,” said Fujio Noguchi, deputy president of the digital reading business division of Sony Electronics, reports Tech-On web-site.

At present all Sony e-book readers use so-called electronic paper displays developed by E Ink Corp. Electronic paper consumes dramatically lower amount of energy than typical LCDs, as a result, Sony’s e-book readers can boast with battery life that measures by weeks, yet, the contrast of screens is very high, which means that it is a pleasure to read from them. No surprise that Sony is hardly considering LCDs for its readers.

In fact, Sony seems to be rather conservative about its e-book readers. The company does not want to produce readers with keyboards (like Amazon Kindle). Basically, Sony has no intentions to make exotic readers with colour screens and keyboards so not to make them too complicated for novice users. Instead, Sony wants to concentrate on content availability.

“We also consider it important to make e-book readers that do not have a keyboard and to offer a variety of contents,” said Mr. Noguchi.

According to the high-ranking executive from Sony, the e-book business is prospering. During the holiday season 2009, sales of e-book readers have quadrupled compared to the previous year, as a result, sales of electronic books will also grow at a rapid pace.

Tags: Sony, E Ink, E-Book

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