Samsung Enters E-Reader Market with LiquaVista Acquisition


Samsung Electronics’ recent acquisition of Liquavista will help it gain significant market share in the hot e-reader market. Netherlands based Liquavista uses its proprietary electrowetting cell technology to manufacture digital displays for all mobile devices including e-readers.

Johan Feenstra, appointed CEO of Liquavista post acquisition, feels that being part of Samsung will help Liquavista’s electrowetting technology reach the global market at an accelerated pace. Liquavista was acquired by Samsung in an all-cash deal for an undisclosed amount.

Liquavista’s base technological platform LiquavistaBright has led to the development of other platforms like LiquavistaColor and the latest LiquavistaVivid. Together, these platforms have enabled the company to make high quality full-color digital displays which feature a faster and more user-friendly interface for e-readers.

Commenting on the far-reaching effects of Samsung’s acquisition of Liquavista, CEO Feenstra said, “We are thrilled by this event, the outright acquisition of Liquavista by the largest electronics company in the world is … confirmation of the disruptive potential that our technology will have in the display market.”

In a press release, Samsung stated that e-reader displays based on Liquavista’s electrowetting technology will have a response rate that is an astounding 70 times faster then the reflective displays used currently. This will help low-power e-readers run videos and other applications; something which wasn’t considered possible previously.

A report released by market research firm Gartner projects a 68.3% growth in the global e-reader market in 2011. Sales are expected to surpass 11 million units as more and more people start using e-readers to access books and other media.

With most large technology and consumer electronics companies fighting for a piece of the e-reader pie, the competition is expected to be intense going forward. The Apple iPad has already made life difficult for competing brands. According to a market survey by ChangeWave Research, the iPad has captured 32% of the e-reader market in 2011 at the expense of Amazon’s Kindle whose market share moved south from 62% to 47% in 2010. Kindle is the current market leader in the e-reader segment; a position it will find difficult to retain in the near future as competition increases.

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