IRiver, the South Korean maker of MP3 players, and who already have experience in the E-Reader market with their “Story” are teaming up with LG to bring to the market a new E-Reader to the USA market.
The IRiver story is mainly marketed in Europe and in some parts of Asia. It is known to be comparable to the Amazon Kindle 2, in that it has a full keyboard and is 6 inches. It also has 800×600 resolution and 8 levels of grey scale. On the aspect of format supportability, the IRiver once again offers ePub, PDF, TXT readability and is able to display DOC, PPT and XLS files as well. IRiver also supports JPEG, BMP and GIF format, something that will be liked by those who take pleasure in reading comics. This is much unlike the Kindle that is limited to be compatible with only those supported by amazon.com and the PDF file formats. It sells in Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, China and Russia for around $299.
IRiver and LG Display plan to set up the $5 million joint venture, to be called L&I Electronic Technology, in Dongguan, in China’s Guangdong province, by August, with a 51% equity investment from LG Display. IRiver will invest the remaining 49%. The companies say they aim to produce 1 million units annually by 2011 from river’s existing plant in Dongguan.
Although the IRiver story sees limited success in Asia and Europe, it has yet to penetrate the North American market. The Partnership with LG will see a mainly USA oriented attack on the e-reader market! The E-Book market is poised to garner 1.2 billion in revenue by 2011 and if the price is right on their E-Reader, IRiver could gain market share from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, and Kobo.
There is no word yet on where this E-Reader will be available and what they will use to deliver content management, such as E-Books, but we think the E-Reader will be comparable to their existing IRiver story, with 3G and WI-FI.