Apple Might Bring e-ink To iDevices with Hybrid Displays

In what seems to be the final blow to Amazon Kindle, a patent application made public this week shows that Apple might bring an e-ink-LCD hybrid display to the iPhone and iPad. Apple originally filled the patent application in 2009, named “Systems and methods for switching between an electronic paper display and video display“.

US Patent Application: 0110080417, Fig. 2b

The said display is capable of switching from a full-blown color display to a more soothing e-ink and vice versa.

Divided into three layers, termed as “multiple composite display regions”, the upper most layer is the touch interface, to register touch inputs. Under it is the “electronic paper display”, or e-ink—and lastly, “video display” for color display.

When not in use, users can bypass the translucent e-ink layer and see the LCD display underneath directly. Both the e-ink and LCD layer can also work together, by displaying contents like text in e-ink and other media in full color display.

I have several e-book readers on my iPhone, including Kindle, but finds myself hardly using any of them. No doubt, these apps are all very well designed and there are plenty of high quality free e-books, but facing a bright tiny display for hours is really causing too much eye strain.

That is one reason why I sometimes prefer reading on a real physical book than an e-book. For the same reason, Amazon Kindle still has its own unique appeal to book readers albeit Apple’s effort marketing iBooks on the iPhone and iPad.

If Apple were to implement e-ink on both the iDevice, it will definitely pose a serious threat to Amazon Kindle, the most gifted item in the company’s history. There will be very little reason left for book readers to consider the Kindle instead of the more capable iPad, unless there’s a cash constraint or a serious need of eternal battery life.

via AppleInsider



  1. Delena Silverfox - April 13, 2011 @ 11:27 am

    I’ve been very curious about the Kindle. I’ve been wanting one since they came out, but haven’t had the money at the time to purchase one, or my money’s always needed to go toward other things.

    However, I have been curious about the screen and the size of it, and how it’s been on the eyes. There’s something to be said for any reading done in unnatural light, but still. It’s good to know.


  2. nazimwarriach - April 17, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    e-Ink will be a valuable addition in Display technologies.
    If Apple launched any such item, it will become most popular gadget in electronic markets.

  3. Kavya Hari - April 20, 2011 @ 1:31 pm

    Initially, i would like to say thanks for given valuable article about apple e-link info on here. So really great one is this 🙂

  4. business - June 24, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

    Although the Kindle is a smaller device I have heard that the smaller electronic-ink display offers a more sunlight friendly reading experience. The Apple I-Pad Touchscreen ebook reader comes with an LCD liquid crystal display screen which has been said to be harder to view on bright sunny days..

  5. Jessie@small lcd monitor - July 11, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

    E-books will eventually be like cellphones nowadays, which is considered as a necessity for everyone. If Apple will launch this e-ink technology to their idevices, then it will surely pose threat to Kindle.

  6. Self Esteem for Kids - November 21, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

    i have nokia N96

    under bright light i just press any botton to see the screen checking the time its,in dark places or indoor this method will not work i have to unlock the phone so the display light works to see the screen not new idea

  7. convertible cribs - May 23, 2012 @ 11:10 pm

    E-ink is very important to a ebook reader. If Apple wants its product to be successful, the e-ink is a must have.

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