E Ink holdings (EIH) has seen its supply of colored e-paper solutions fall short of demand, and is expanding production capacity starting the second quarter 2020 to meet growing demand, according to company chairman Johnson Lee.
Influx of orders for the company's colored Kaleido, or called Print Color ePaper, solutions have been stronger than expected recently thanks to growing online learning, digital signage and smart retailing applications in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Lee said at the company's latest investors conference.
A number of e-book reader suppliers including iFlytek, iReader and Onyx Boox have launched e-book readers and other mobile reading devices, built using color e-paper solutions from EIH, and that Pocket Book is also set to launch its colored e-book readers in June 2020.
EIH is also developing large-size colored e-paper display products in cooperation with panel maker Innolux, leveraging its ACeP (Advanced Color ePaper) technology, Lee said, noting that the large-size colored e-paper solutions will target IoT and smart city applications.
While overall sales will remain robust in the second quarter, Lee said that production of the traditional e-paper could face some constraints due to strong demand for colored models, affecting its performance in the third quarter.
For ramping up its capacity for colored solutions, capex set for 2020 is expected to grow within 15% in 2020 from the NT$700-800 million (US$23.34-26.67 million) a year it has spent on average over the past three years, Lee revealed.
The company posted net profit of NT$787 million in the first quarter of 2020, the highest level for the same quarter in nine years.