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Old 04-24-2007, 05:13 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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iRex iLiad hits Japan

The title says it all. From the press release:

Quote:
On April 23th 2007, iRex Technologies (Pres. Hans Brons, located in the Netherlands, http://www.irextechnologies.com/) and East Co., Ltd.(Pres. Kazuo Shimokawa, located at Yoyogi, Shibuya, Tokyo Japan,http://www.est.co.jp) agreed that East provides sales and technical support for the iLiad electronic paper device for reading of amongst others digital books and newspapers in Japan.

Comment of iRex Pres. Hans Brons
"With East, iRex has found a partner of choice to service the Japanese book and newspaper publishing markets with iRex' solutions. Through this partnership we expect to generate real momentum in the uptake of electronic paper based devices and a breakthrough in electronic news distribution in Japan. We expect this partnership to be longstanding and of great benefit to our customers and prospects."

Comment of East Pres. Kazuo Shimokawa
'My first encounter of this kind of device was Go!'s PenPoint in 1992. I assisted in a positive way the Rocket eBook in 1998 and the Panasonic SigmaBook and Sony LIBRIe in 2004. I have felt strongly the need of such handy reading devices and this time I am very pleased to be able to introduce iRex's leading edge device to the Japanese people.'
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
The title says it all. From the press release:
I hope Irex will find an italian partner for distribution at least in time for the release of Iliad 2.0.
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:35 PM   #3
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whats the white device?
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:07 PM   #4
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I can't tell for sure from the pic, but I think it's a Sony Libré.
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:37 PM   #5
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Interesting. I don't think it's going to compete very well against the FLEPia, once that hits the market, but we'll see whether iRex can get it together in the mean time...

Are Japanese users as prone to wanting to modify their devices as we seem to be?
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:48 PM   #6
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Do you mean the Libré won't compete well? I'd say not -- it's an older device, predates the Reader (and the iLiad) by several years, and was really unsuccessful, probably because of it's DRM scheme for which 'Draconian' doesn't begin to be a strong enough description. I expect the only reason that it's pictured with the iLiad is that it's the only other e-ink device that's ever been (officially) released in Japan.
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Old 04-25-2007, 01:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clabot451
I hope Irex will find an italian partner for distribution at least in time for the release of Iliad 2.0.
Don't they have one already? Check out this link: http://store.simplicissimus.it/
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh
Do you mean the Libré won't compete well? I'd say not -- it's an older device, predates the Reader (and the iLiad) by several years, and was really unsuccessful, probably because of it's DRM scheme for which 'Draconian' doesn't begin to be a strong enough description. I expect the only reason that it's pictured with the iLiad is that it's the only other e-ink device that's ever been (officially) released in Japan.
No, I meant the current iLiad won't compete well against the FLEPia A5 when it's released, as the FLEPia, if released as described so far, will have pretty much the same functionality and form factor, plus color, and be cheaper. Except that it runs WinCE, which I wouldn't buy, but I don't know how much the Japanese market will care about that.

I think iRex needs to find a way to get their price much lower.
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nekokami
No, I meant the current iLiad won't compete well against the FLEPia A5 when it's released, as the FLEPia, if released as described so far, will have pretty much the same functionality and form factor, plus color, and be cheaper. Except that it runs WinCE, which I wouldn't buy, but I don't know how much the Japanese market will care about that.
Ah, now I see.

I've been thinking about the WinCE thing, I think it might actually be a selling point to a professional customer base -- what I mean is that Windows is familiar to most non-technical professionals, in a way that Linux isn't. It will presumably run most of the same apps that folks expect on their PCs (albeit a good deal slower), so they'll see less of a learning curve.

If that's the FLEPia target market, WinCE might just be a good move.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:38 PM   #10
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Can anyone here read japanese

Can anyone here read the japanese version of the specs, it would be interesting to know if Irex makes the same false claims about the device that they used in the european market in what I believe (but am not entirely sure) is a more demanding market with real competition in japan.
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nekokami
Interesting. I don't think it's going to compete very well against the FLEPia, once that hits the market, but we'll see whether iRex can get it together in the mean time...

Are Japanese users as prone to wanting to modify their devices as we seem to be?
I totally agree as well. The Iliad stands a snowball's chance in hell of surviving once the FLEPia is released, mainly due to the price factor. Of course the Japanese aren't hesitant to drop a lot of Yen for portable electronic devices; case in point, a small Casio translator/dictionary/portable encyclopedia goes for $200-300, and everyone has one. On the other hand, people here don't seem to carry around and PDA's other than their phones; that goes for Windows Mobile, Palm, and *nix OS's. One thing that might help though is portability, if the FLEPia is too big (is there such a thing), it might not catch on as well as a smaller more portable, subway friendly model.

As mentioned earlier, I think the Librie flopped due to its stupid DRM/expiration scheme . That device crashed so hard it ended up as a vague obscurity nobody remembers except for the tinkerers. The Japanese are anything but flippant about their hard-earned cash, so they aren't about to waste it on something that will expire (unless it's Starbucks! ) in a few days; i.e., books that expire in a month.

Time will tell, but I'll be watching
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anansi
Can anyone here read the japanese version of the specs, it would be interesting to know if Irex makes the same false claims about the device that they used in the european market in what I believe (but am not entirely sure) is a more demanding market with real competition in japan.
As far as I could see from the Japanese press release, they haven't mentioned any specs that aren't in the English version. As for competition, the main competition is cellphones. PDAs, tablets and UMPCs are pretty thin on the ground in regular electronics stores here. Dedicated Ebook readers are very hard to find. The only one I have found is the Wordsgear, but that was in Kinokuniya (a book store).
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Old 04-26-2007, 04:17 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by clabot451
I hope Irex will find an italian partner for distribution at least in time for the release of Iliad 2.0.
http://store.simplicissimus.it

oops didnt notice Alex' already replied with this link
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by mill0r
http://store.simplicissimus.it

oops didnt notice Alex' already replied with this link
NP. Two holds better than one
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:01 PM   #15
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Don't they have one already? Check out this link: http://store.simplicissimus.it/
Thanks guy you're great (and you're a better netsurfer than I)
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