Qualcomm's mirasol display technology may not be on the market in any meaningful form yet, but the company sure knows how to put a mockup together. Fresh for SID 2011 this week is this 4.1-inch WVGA smartphone concept Engadget spotted, pairing the transflective color e-paper panel with what looks to be the intelligent front lighting system shown last week. Meanwhile, Qualcomm also had a new timescale for when, exactly, mirasol-toting hardware might actually go up for sale.
According to the mirasol team, while panels were shipping out to OEMs in time for 2010 releases, as originally promised, the arrival of the iPad left the ereader/tablet segment floundering. Ereader manufacturers had assumed there was no interest in reading on traditional LCD displays, something Apple's tablet disproved.
That left 5.7-inch mirasol displays ready and waiting to be used, and OEMs wondering exactly how to position them. Thankfully, Qualcomm now says there'll be at least one "converged ereader" with 3x the regular battery life of a tablet headed to the market before 2011 is out. We shouldn't hold our breath for Amazon branding, however; apparently Qualcomm's fab wouldn't be able to keep up with the Kindle demand, though that could change as more mirasol plants come online.
As for that smartphone concept, it doesn't actually work and, in fact, unlike Qualcomm's usual mirasol displays the screen is frozen on a single image. Think of it as a kick in the interferometric modulator for smartphone companies wanting better runtimes from a single charge.