Samsung's been teasing its flexible, full-color display technology since 2011 when it acquired Liquavista, but it never actually shipped in a consumer product. One of the few companies that still has a viable e-reader business, Amazon today confirmed to CNET that it had purchased the company from Samsung, following early reports from The Digital Reader. With tablets, e-readers, and rumored plans to get into the phone game, Amazon should be able to take advantage of Liquavista's electrowetting displays (EWD) that enable flexible, full-color, low-powered touchscreens.
Amazon told CNET that it bought Liquavista with an eye toward putting their technology into future products. "It's still early days, but we're excited about the possibilities." In March, Bloomberg reported that Samsung was looking to unload Liquavista for less than $100 million. While Samsung hasn't given up on flexible displays — it showed off a prototype handset with a flexible OLED display at CES this year — the company seems to be leaving e-readers behind. Rumors of an Amazon color E Ink reader floated around last February, and this acquisition brings a long-lasting, color flexible reader closer to reality.