Confirmed: Amazon Bought Liquavista – Color Kindle to Follow?

Confirmed: Amazon Bought Liquavista - Color Kindle to Follow? Amazon Screen Tech For the past four months I have been saying that Amazon was in the market to buy Samsung's screen tech company Liquavista, and today I do believe the rumors have come true.

New filings from the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce reveal that Samsung no longer owns Liquavista. As of 29 April, the new owner is listed as a faceless LLC registered out of Delaware.

Confirmed: Amazon Bought Liquavista - Color Kindle to Follow? Amazon Screen Tech

That company, Haverl LLC, has no presence online or products on the market. In fact, the only noteworthy detail that I have found is that Haverl LLC leads to a holding company called CSC.

This pattern of a faceless LLC leading to a holding company should be familiar; it's the same trick that Amazon used to hide their FCC filings last year.

Update: Amazon has confirmed the news:

We are always looking for new technologies we may be able to incorporate into our products over the long term. The Liquavista team shares our passion for invention and is creating exciting new technologies with a lot of potential. It’s still early days, but we’re excited about the possibilities and we look forward to working with Liquavista to develop these displays.

This deal hasn't been announced just yet by any of the parties involved, so I don't have any info on the price paid. But past rumors indicated that Samsung was willing to sell Liquavista for under $100 million. That is probably less than Samsung has invested in the company since buying it in early 2011, but even if they took a loss this is a good deal for Samsung.

Samsung's hottest gadgetry at the moment are their smartphones and tablets. Those devices have to stay ahead of a tight market, so they use cutting-edge high quality and high resolution screens. It's been pretty clear for a while now that Liquavista's electrowetting screen tech won't be able to achieve the same high quality as the screens that Samsung is using now, so it makes sense that Samsung would want to cut their losses.

Confirmed: Amazon Bought Liquavista - Color Kindle to Follow? Amazon Screen Tech

Liquavista got its start way back when battery life was still a serious issue for mobile devices.  This was one of a number of screen technologies that traded screen quality for battery life, but now that battery life is not such a serious problem for most devices there isn't really much of a market for Liquavista's screens.

The only market left for Liquavista screens is the ereader market, and I'm pretty sure that is why Amazon bought Liquavista.

source

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

27 Comments

  1. Javi13 May, 2013

    I hope it’s true and we see a Liquavista kindle 10 ” soon 🙂

    Reply
  2. fjtorres13 May, 2013

    Confirmed?
    Kudos for good tea leaf reading!

    So, how are you on tracking hoofprints over rocky terrain.
    I hear there is a presumed-dead Texas ranger looking for a sidekick…

    Reply
  3. […] to The Digital Reader, Amazon has bought recent Samsung acquisition Liquavista, while attempting to hide the fact by routing the acquisition […]

    Reply
  4. bubba13 May, 2013

    How is battery life not a concern anymore? Only if you don’t use the device that much. If it’s constantly in use then almost all current smartphones and tablets will run out of juice in a day, less if you use them for games. And if you check battery usage the majority goes to the screen.
    Here’s hoping for better battery tech or better screen tech so we can have LCD screen quality with E-ink battery life.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder13 May, 2013

      5 years ago it was not uncommon for some mobile devices to only have 3 hours of battery life. Now we expect our gadgets to run all day.

      And part of the reason that current smartphones run out of power before the end of the day is aesthetics, not hardware. Batteries are shrunk to fit in a thinner phone.

      Reply
      1. Coen14 May, 2013

        5 years ago my b/w nokia lasted an entire week. My Samsung smartphone with a twice as big battery doesn’t even last a day. I’d love to have a phone with a liquavista display even if it can’t display video. Tablets and tvs are better suited for that anyway.

        Reply
    2. El duderino13 May, 2013

      That’s exactly what I thought when I read that. Yes, battery life is still a huge concern. My Rezound barely can make it through a single day with only moderate use and 50% screen brightness.

      We’ll see if it leads to any interesting new tablets or ereaders.

      Reply
  5. […] the digital reader – […]

    Reply
  6. […] einverleibt. Das recherchierten die Kollegen von eReaders.nl und wurde inzwischen auch von Amazon bestätigt. Die einstige Samsung-Tochter Liquavista hat sich auf farbige E-Paper-Panels spezialisiert, deren […]

    Reply
  7. […] Digital Reader, which has been following this story for several months, reported Monday that an unnamed Delaware-based LLC was the new owner of Liquavista. Amazon confirmed the purchase […]

    Reply
  8. […] Amazon has acquired Liquavista from Samsung, which means the maker of the popular Kindle line of eReaders and tablets sees promise […]

    Reply
  9. flo13 May, 2013

    wohoooooooooooooo! a kindle fire running cyanogenmod for me, please!

    Reply
  10. […] like Samsung’s efforts to sell off its Liquavista subsidiary have paid off. Amazon on Monday said it had acquired the company, which develops low-power, high-visibility electrowetting displays. […]

    Reply
  11. […] Nate at The Digital Reader reports on Amazon buying Liquavista, maker of Color eInk and potentially Color Kindle screen technology. […]

    Reply
  12. jonny13 May, 2013

    afaik the company has been around since 2006 while not a single display has gone beyond proof of concept and I cant say I am impressed with the prototypes.
    so…dont get too excited just now…

    Reply
  13. Olympia Press14 May, 2013

    Awesome coverage there, Nate.

    Reply
  14. […] den finanziellen Details der Übernahme machte Amazon keine Angaben. Laut The Digital Reader war im Vorfeld ein Kaufpreis von unter 100 Millionen Dollar im Gespräch. “Das ist […]

    Reply
  15. […] Fuente – The Digital Reader […]

    Reply
  16. […] Samsung, ahora pasa a formar parte de las posesiones de Amazon como lo reporta el portal The Digital Reader que al parecer consiguió acceso a la documentación de la Cámara de Comercio de los Países […]

    Reply
  17. […] Nate von The Digital Reader berichtet, ist der gerüchtehalber mehrfach angekündigte Kauf von Liquavista durch Amazon nun endlich über […]

    Reply
  18. […] possibilities and we look forward to working with Liquavista to develop these displays,” Amazon said in a […]

    Reply
  19. inmypjs15 May, 2013

    Finally Amazon! This has been long overdue. I would have wanted Samsung to develop a Liquavista color eReader but no appearance at CES 2013 after announcing late 2012 that they will be manufacturing Liquavista displays meant that they were shelving the project. That being said, Samsung should have just licensed the technology just like Mirasol did.

    Triton 2 was disappointing and so was Mirasol. Amazon wanted ePaper displays that has fast refresh rates for video without sacrificing too much battery life and Liquavista is it! Amazon bought Liquavista so their competitors can’t get a hand of the tech. B&N, Sony and Kobo will have to use Gamma Dynamics’ EFD tech to compete.

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/lighter-brighter-displays

    Reply
  20. […] Amazon apparently tried to make the acquisition undercover but Nate the Great Detective at The Digital Reader ferreted it […]

    Reply
  21. […] only company interested is Amazon, and they bought their own screen tech company in May 2013. It’s not clear why Amazon invested in Liquavista, but I do know that they have been hiring […]

    Reply
  22. Liquavista per un Kindle a colori?12 March, 2015

    […] incorporare nei nostri prodotti nel lungo termine – sono le parole scelte da Amazon nel comunicato che conferma l’acquisizione – Il Team Liquavista condivide la nostra passione per […]

    Reply
  23. Amazon kauft Liquavista | print24 Blog4 November, 2015

    […] Ein bisschen wie Detektivarbeit gestaltete sich die Bestätigung der Übernahme von Display-Technologie Liquavista durch Amazon. In einer Eingabe an die niederländische Handelskammer zeigte sich, dass Samsung nicht mehr Eigentümer von Liquavista ist. Stattdessen wird eine Briefkastenfirma genannt, die weiter zu einer Holding-Gesellschaft führt. Mittlerweile hat Amazon die Übernahme zwar bestätigt, aber noch nicht offiziell bekannt gegeben, so The Digital Reader. […]

    Reply

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