Asian vendors join e-reader flurry
Asian telecom vendors Huawei and Samsung have separately announced plans to enter the booming e-reader market.
Huawei has entered into a partnership with Chinese ePaper manufacturer Tianjin Jinke Electronics to jointly develop and market e-publishing solutions for telecom operators worldwide.
Under the agreement, Tianjin Jinke will develop the eReader devices and terminals, while Huawei provides the back-end and distribution management software. Tianjin Jinke has also partnered with Taiwan's Foxlink to help upgrade its e-reader offerings.
The companies have already attracted one major customer – China Mobile, which intends to launch the eReader service in the coming months.
Tianjin Jinke president Li Qingcheng has predicted that global eReader sales will surpass 20 million by 2012.
Meanwhile, Samsung is planning to develop a line of eReaders for the US market. The vendor expects to launch two models initially, with respective screen sizes of 6 and 10 inches.
The e-readers will include Wi-Fi connectivity and stylus support. They will be priced at $399 and $699 respectively. Samsung has yet to reveal any details regarding an eBook distribution model.
Amazon's successful Kindle e-reader has caused a renaissance for the technology, leaving rivals eager to replicate Amazon's success with their own devices.
For example, Sony last year announced a 3G e-reader, to complement the devices it has been offering since 2006.
Consumers have been embracing e-readers as well. Last week Amazon announced that its customers purchased more eBooks than paper books for the first time ever over Christmas.