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Old 07-27-2009, 11:36 AM   #1
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Samsung e-book reader announced in South Korea

Samsung e-book reader announced in South Korea

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...it looks like Samsung is out with an e-book reader of its own in their home market. The SNE-50K reader has been created in association with Kyobo, South Korea’s largest bookstore. The 200g and 9mm slim device features a 5-inch display, ability to take notes with pen (hints the display is touchscreen), 512MB internal memory able to store 400 books (in ePub format) and converts Powerpoint, Excel, Word, PDF, BMP files to the compatible format. The exact battery life is not known but its 960mAh battery will allow to read 4,230 pages continuously.

The SNE-50K e-book reader will sell for 339,000 KRW ($273).
More images.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:23 PM   #2
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Here is the Wall Street Journal article:

SEOUL – Samsung Electronics Co. jumped into the e-book market on Monday by rolling out a small-screen reader that it will initially sell in its home country of South Korea with content provided by a local bookstore chain.

Samsung's SNE-50K e-book, which will be priced at 339,000 won or about $270, has a five-inch touch-screen that also allows users to write and store memos.

The device has 512 megabytes of memory storage, more than Sony Corp.'s similarly-priced Reader, but less than the entry-level version of Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle, which sells for $299. It's slim at nine millimeters and weighs 6.5 ounces, less than the 10-ounce Kindle.

Samsung is still working on versions of an e-book reader to sell in other countries and executives said they aim to show prototypes at an industry trade show in January. The company is negotiating with publishers and retailers for content.

In South Korea, Samsung partnered with the online store of Kyobo Bookstore Co., one of the country's largest bookstore chains, to offer downloadable books. Kyobo currently offers electronic versions of about 2,500 books, chiefly South Korean titles.

Samsung's initial e-book reader doesn't support wireless downloads or connections to the Internet, as Amazon's Kindle and readers by some smaller firms do. Instead, a customer must download a book to a PC and then into the device.

Samsung said software is included to make its reader capable of displaying documents created in Microsoft Corp.'s Office programs and Adobe Systems Inc.'s PDF format.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:43 PM   #3
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Ain't sharp enough

Is it just me or due to touchscreen layer it is just as opaque as the PRS-700?
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:03 PM   #4
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The Korea Herald: Samsung takes on giant Amazon in e-books

http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/NEWKHSI...0907280017.asp



Samsung Electronics, the world's No.2 maker of mobile phones, said yesterday that it aims to ovetake Amazon as the top seller of electronic books with the launch of its new digital book scheduled for next year. "We seek to become a bigger player than Amazon or Sony in the e-book market," Lew Jae-young, vice president of Samsung Electronics, said at a news conference, adding the company plans to unveil details of the product in January next year.

"It will take time for our competitors to catch up," he said.

"Our new e-book will be fantastic... it will offer the best solutions," he told The Korea Herald.

He did not provide further details such as how the company will secure content to better compete with U.S. book giants such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

"We are in talks (with publishers and content providers) on detailed cooperation models," a Samsung official said.


- Will Samsung shake up market?

Analysts expected Samsung's ambitious goal to become the top e-book maker is plausible given the company's expertise in mobile devices and the fast-changing dynamics of the e-book market.

"Samsung has a high brand recognition and a know-how in mobile device," Ahn Ha-young, an analyst at Hanhwa Securities, said.

She also said Samsung will be able to secure e-book content from publishers, which are looking to diversify their sales channels.

"Publishers and other content providers see e-books as their new growth drivers. Therefore, the more devices, the better for them, " she said.

Lee Jung-ho, a senior researcher at Samsung Economic Research Institute, also said the e-book market dynamics is subject to change given that the market is at an infant stage and it is growing.

"We should focus on which company Samsung will form an alliance with and which strategy Samsung will adopt," he said.

"An e-book is not just a digital version of paper books. The device is expected to evolve beyond imagination," he said.


- disappointing specs

Samsung yesterday entered the nascent e-book market in Korea under partnership with Kyobo Bookstore, Korea's biggest bookstore.

However, Samsung's new digital book, SNE-50K, may be a disappointment to gadget lovers as its specification falls short of its rivals.

It does not support wireless internet, which means it does not allow users to download content while on the go. By contrast, its local rival Nuke and Amazon's Kindle enables wireless downloads, thus providing user continence.

Samsung's e-book also has a small 5-inch screen, while Amazon's latest version of its Kindle features a 9.7-inch screen, which is more suitable for displaying newspaper and textbook content.

However, the company said its small screen makes it easy for users to carry the device, which fits snugly in the pocket of a shirt.

The company also said the product is the world's first e-book which adopts handwriting recognition. It also features a 600 x 800 pixel resolution, which is the same as Kindle.


- Lack of content

Currently, only 2,500 book titles - mostly best-sellers - are available on Kyobo's online e-book store, and about 1,000 new titles will be updated every month.

A digital book will sell for 40 percent less than the price of a paper book.

Samsung's foray is expected to invigorate into the local e-book market, which has not developed mainly because of a lack of a suitable device for displaying ebook content, Kyobo officials said. They also expected the e-book will be popular among Koreans living overseas, who have to buy Korean books at expensive prices because of shipping costs.

The local e-book market is expected to grow more than 10-fold from 2006 to 2012, with its revenue expected to reach 2.4 trillion won in 2012 from 210 billion won in 2006, according to industry data.

In the local market, Samsung will compete with online bookstores such as Interpark, Yes 24 and Aladin and mobile carriers SK Telecom and LG Telecom, and small-and-medium sized e-book device makers.

Samsung's new e-book, which will go on sale from the end of this month, will sell for 339,000 won.
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worxland View Post
Is it just me or due to touchscreen layer it is just as opaque as the PRS-700?
That was the impression I got too...a bit glossy on the surface and a bit weak in the text.

Design looks nice, but handwriting recognition? Hrm...

also noticed the little diamond navigation thing like on the YP-Q1 music player. It had no tactile response and was very sensitive. I hope Samsung isn't pulling the same thing here...but I wouldn't put it past them...they don't always seem to be fond of function-oriented design.

Last edited by LDBoblo; 07-27-2009 at 05:10 PM. Reason: hmm...
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