Ebooks: An American Story?

Posted by Zealot on Jun 15, 2010

closeThis post was published 4 years 1 month 13 days ago which may make its actuality or expire date not be valid anymore. This site is not responsible for any misunderstanding.

iriver-story-floating An ebook reader I have been following since it’s release is the iRiver Story. The main attraction for me in the device beyond the sleek, minimalist style are that I really enjoy and respect both the designs and the specs of most iRiver products I have used. I have had a very good history with the company. Also the Story looks very similar to a Kindle, without all that annoying Shop at Amazon stuff, which has to be a plus. The one problem has been that iRiver gear is not easily available in most parts of the world, and even then you see their music players far more often then you do their other products, such as the Story.

However, that may soon change. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that iRiver is partnering with their countrymen at LG to create an ebook reader directly targeted at the American market with the intention of going on sale in the US later this year.

The current Story can handle epub, pdf and a few other ebook formats (but NOT.mobi), runs a version of Linux (though some reports say it runs Windows, which seems…odd) with a 6 inch E-ink screen  It is currently available in Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, China and Russia for about $299, iRiver’s marketing manager, J.K. Jeong, told the WSJ. She also said that the version of the Story that finally gets to the US may have completely different specs and that they may be considering working with a US supplier.

As for the partnership with LG, the two companies are being very serious about it. They are forming a 5 million dollar joint venture (51% equity investment from LG Display, 49% from iRiver) called L&I Electronic Technology based in China’s Guangdong province which they expect to have up and running by the end of the summer.  From there they have big plans, and are saying they will be producing 1 million units annually by next year.

I am worried that now that they are finally bringing the Story to the US, it may be too late. The ebook reader market is changing fast and E-ink devices are already looking for ways to expand their capabilities. That may not be the best climate to launch a pure Ebook Reader from a company most Americans have never heard of, that is already considered in Europe to be on the pricey side. Let’s not forget the cautionary tale of iRex. I have a feeling that LG may be looking to this partnership not only to produce an Ebook reader, but possibly to work with iRiver’s design staff (which are second to none) to come up with their own entry in the rapidly heating up Tablet wars.

Either way, I think that anything that gives iRiver more exposure in the US is a good thing, so play on. I can;t wait to see what they come up with.

Zealot (839 Posts) - Website | Twitter | Facebook


By day a department manager and writer for a major network device vendor...by night Zealot stalks the mean magnetic streets, striking fear into the hearts of bandwidth abusers and theme park mascots. Zealot has been involved with mobile devices for more than a decade now, starting off with dumb phones, moving to PDAs and then to smartphones, notebooks and netbooks with the odd PMP thrown in. Most of his mobile time currently is spent on a Treo Pro, Zune HD, Thinkpad T61, HP Mini 311, iPod Touch 3G, iPad 16G or a Hackintoshed Compaq Mini 704. He proudly groks the Geek community and considers himself a Neo Maxi Zune Dweebie (thanks Wil Wheaton!).

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  • http://twitter.com/mobilitysite/status/16202494661 mobilitysite

    Posted: Ebooks: An American Story? http://bit.ly/a8Aagj

  • http://ebooksextra.com/blog/e-books/ebooks-an-american-story-mobility-site.html Ebooks: An American Story? | Mobility Site « Ebooks Extra

    [...] here to read the rest: Ebooks: An American Story? | Mobility Site Comments [...]

  • http://twitter.com/bookobot/status/16206746450 Steve Thorston

    Ebooks: An American Story? http://bit.ly/b2kMsl

  • mobilitysite

    Posted: Ebooks: An American Story? http://bit.ly/a8Aagj

  • http://twitter.com/joaanelee/status/16210997653 Joaane

    Ebooks: An American Story?: An ebook reader I have been following since it's release is the iRiver Story. Th… http://tinyurl.com/3abnrzo

  • http://pocketprimer.com ProfJulie

    “The current Story can handle all common ebook formats”

    If that is true and if the Story can handle the DRM that is commonly associated with all these different formats, then I would be very interested in the Story. I've got an eInk Reader (the Cybook Gen3, made by Bookeen) and it supports many different formats, but can only handle DRM for mobipocket books or DRM for ePub books through 2 different Firmwares. Both DRMed formats are supported, but not at the same time. I'd have to constantly reflash the Firmware to toggle back and forth between mobipocket and ePub books. That's just craziness.

  • http://twitter.com/onlinecourse/status/16236776715 Distance Education

    Ebooks: An American Story? – http://dedu.org/bwtFti

  • http://pocketprimer.com ProfJulie

    “The current Story can handle all common ebook formats”

    If that is true and if the Story can handle the DRM that is commonly associated with all these different formats, then I would be very interested in the Story. I've got an eInk Reader (the Cybook Gen3, made by Bookeen) and it supports many different formats, but can only handle DRM for mobipocket books or DRM for ePub books through 2 different Firmwares. Both DRMed formats are supported, but not at the same time. I'd have to constantly reflash the Firmware to toggle back and forth between mobipocket and ePub books. That's just craziness.

  • http://twitter.com/kindletoday/status/16259525281 Kindle Today

    Ebooks: An American Story? | MobilitySite http://bit.ly/blZnxi #ebooks #publishing #eReaders

  • http://bardhaven.wordpress.com Zealot

    I dug around…and it appears MOBI is not supported but EPUB is…however I am not completely sure.

  • http://twitter.com/pontolit/status/16269580258 C. S. Soares

    Ebooks: An American Story? http://bit.ly/cqfLNk | via mobile site

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