E-Ink iPad Rival 'reMarkable' Sells More Than 1 Million Devices

E-ink tablet maker "reMarkable" has now sold more than one million devices since 2017 and raised money at a valuation of $1 billion, indicating that its unusual minimalist reading- and writing-focused tablet is growing its market share despite competition with fully-fledged tablets like the iPad (via TechCrunch).

The Norway-based startup company, which employs more than 300 people, has announced that it achieved investment from multiple international investors at its $1 billion valuation last year. The company's valuation comes after making revenues of $300 million and operating profits of $31 million in 2021. Founder and CEO Magnus Wanberg said that the company was now closing the investment as a "good indication, a signal out to the world."

The reMarkable 2 launched in 2020, priced at $299, just $30 less than Apple's ninth-generation iPad. While both devices tout their e-reading capabilities and can be used with a stylus accessory for notetaking and annotating PDFs, the reMarkable effectively only allows for reading and writing, with no other functionality. The reMarkable 2 includes features such as handwriting conversion, screen sharing, Wi-Fi connectivity, integration with cloud storage services, and more. Wanberg said:

The future of the tablet as we see it is in the direction that Apple and others are heading, a fusion of laptop and tablet forms... But our offering is a third device, a focussed space for books, drawing, and notes, where you can really avoid distractions and procrastination. That is our positioning.

With these specific purposes in mind, the reMarkable features an e-ink display that is gentler on the eyes than a display that directly emits light, a textured screen for a paper-like feel, and an ultra-slim design. The company claims that customers do not need to buy a new device for at least 10 years after purchasing a reMarkable tablet.

With an E-reader and you own and use it for quite a long time. In our business, it's not a new-model-every-year dynamic. There is no emphasis on new model ownership. We don't want to force our company to slap on some iteration for the sake of it. There is true innovation, major steps in terms of what we can offer the customer. We also think it's great from a sustainability perspective [to move away from] pushing out new hardware.

The company says that its devices bridge the gap between pen and paper, and digital devices. While the reMarkable 2 is not a like-for-like ‌iPad‌ rival, the company's rapid growth may indicate the emergence of a new mass market of e-ink "distraction-free" tablets dedicated to specific tasks.

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Top Rated Comments

ignatius345 Avatar
27 months ago

A device that:
- costs 30$ less than a current iPad;
- far less than the 2011 iPad could do;
- doesn’t offer the functionality of the iCloud system.

Business model: “the missing functionality is a bonus” is nonsense.

This company depends on ignorance and or anti apple (or Android) bias.

The sales figures and market valuation are both unsustainable.
Haha, I think you should just stick to an iPad, but don't presume that people who buy this are "ignorant" somehow.

I don't think anyone is buying this instead of an iPad. They're buying it because they like the experience of writing on paper but want things like password protection, syncing, etc -- but also don't want the massive potential for distraction and "mission creep" that comes with using a device like an iPad that does pretty much everything under the sun. When you pick this thing up, it's for focused work like taking notes or reading/annotating PDFs. You're not going to get tempted to open Instagram, or check the news. No texts are going to pop up to break your flow. Sounds like none of this means anything to you, but if you can wrap your head around it, some people have other preferences than you do.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ifti Avatar
27 months ago
As soon as I read 'subscription' I turned away.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rpmurray Avatar
27 months ago
Limited storage and a subscription required to make it useful. No thanks. I want to load all my content locally and not have to rent my device.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spock Avatar
27 months ago
Starting at $299 and needs a subscription of $7.99 a month to really be useful. I think selling a million was a fluke.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ignatius345 Avatar
27 months ago

With all due respect to your wife, “Technophobe” is a kind of self-enforced ignorance you know.

Nobody asked you for your opinion, my man.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coords Avatar
27 months ago
My wife has one and absolutely loves it. It’s become an important part of her daily workflow.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)