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Old 10-11-2006, 08:23 AM   #1
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B2B Focus, newspapers and the state of iRex

It's been imteresting reading the threads in this forum recently, pulling a few together ...

It appears that iRex are stating that they are still focused on B2B and that development isn't slowing down but in fact expanding to cater for demands from B2B - if this is so and iRex have been in discussion with business for over 6 months at least (as per press releases) - why then have we not seen a single content partnership news item, either an intent or actual partnership?

Secondly - there appears to be a real interest in reading newspapers on the device, or at least this has caught the imagination as key content for the Iliad.

In the UK (Oct 9th ) the Financial Times reported a study stating that in terms of media consumption in Europe, consumption of paper newspapers/magazines, has remained static at about 3 hrs/week and for the first time online access has overtaken use has overtaken this consumption at 4hrs per week.

Why does there appear to be less interest in online only media sources of content, either from online news agencies/sources or community content such as blogs or forums? These readers are a convinient vehicle to both cut treeware AND untether you from always on connections, so why only the focus on paper media? The BBC or Slashdot producing a content package would seem just as logical as the New York Times or the Spectator producing a content package - right?
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdam
It appears that iRex are stating that they are still focused on B2B and that development isn't slowing down but in fact expanding to cater for demands from B2B - if this is so and iRex have been in discussion with business for over 6 months at least (as per press releases) - why then have we not seen a single content partnership news item, either an intent or actual partnership?
It's an "old story" from Irex... They were saying this before Iliad launch, because they had no working software, they say this again after several months of selling Iliad - just because they still have nothing good to say about their software.
it's simply lame excuses...

Does someone really belive, their mythical B2B partners are glad to get a $800 device, which must be charged 3 times a day???

Irex just said: We have no time for you boys and girls! We "we’ve been emphasizing the primary focus on B2B customers."

(What means really only one thing - they do not have working software, are not able to provide it in any reasonable time and have no idea when they will manage all this situation...)

And almost everybody at Irex forum said "Thank you, Irex, for talking to us, costomers!" Now we are glad and satisfied"...
http://forum.irexnet.com/viewtopic.php?t=499
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:34 AM   #3
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About the B2B focus: the way I see it, iRex made a serious mistake in giving in to early adopter demand and selling the Iliad in an essentially premature state. (But let's not forget that people were only too eager to shell out 650 euro for a device of which they knew in advance that it wouldn't be fully functional for quite some time.) Software delivery projections are nearly always too optimistic, so making too many promises will come back to haunt you.
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaKir

Does someone really belive, their mythical B2B partners are glad to get a $800 device, which must be charged 3 times a day???

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I agree no B2B customers would be happy with the power management of the device.
However the thing is, that you only have to charge the irex approximately once a day or less (which you would do with a PDA anyway), not 3 times.
Even if the software is not ready it is already functional so I think worth the 850 USD it costs. If you put in a 4GB (or god forbid 8GB) memory card you can take all your documents with you and read whenever you want.
We will see at least 1 release of software update (2.7) for sure, the rest I don't know, hopefully the company will operate a few more months, by that time all issues can be sorted out and it will be way better than the Sony.

Taking notes is owesome, as good as on a tablet pc.
I am not particularly waiting for newspapers to read on it, because I usually read when I am at work and the internet is quite good for that, while at home I have much more important things to do (reading books & learning basically)
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurens
About the B2B focus: the way I see it, iRex made a serious mistake in giving in to early adopter demand and selling the Iliad in an essentially premature state. (But let's not forget that people were only too eager to shell out 650 euro for a device of which they knew in advance that it wouldn't be fully functional for quite some time.) Software delivery projections are nearly always too optimistic, so making too many promises will come back to haunt you.
Well... Its the problem of releasing betas to a community... Back then everyone said they didn't mind that it was full of bugs. Now they've changed their mind. If you can accept that the Illiad is a beta product then it seems fine, and I personally think that its come a long way since the beginning of summer... It still has a long way to go but I personally wouldn't go back to humping dead trees around...!

Its also a completely different platform. Of course there aren't going to be that many content providers... Where were the online music stores until the Ipod came out...?
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:28 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jæd
Well... Its the problem of releasing betas to a community... Back then everyone said they didn't mind that it was full of bugs. Now they've changed their mind.
What?

Sorry, dude, I did not change my mind at all, and most other didn't either.

Back then when we did these statements, the announcement from iRex was that the software is beta until the release of the "consumer" Iliad in September '06.

And we all happily agreed to live with beta software and bugs until, well, September.
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ali
Back then when we did these statements, the announcement from iRex was that the software is beta until the release of the "consumer" Iliad in September '06.

And we all happily agreed to live with beta software and bugs until, well, September.
Ah... I think this is where we differ... I've tended to assume that the Illiad is still in the beta period... The regular increases in functionality seem to bear this out...
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:07 AM   #8
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The regular increases in functionality seem to bear this out...
Sounds like everybody can have his way with you. So you say if they make the tiniest possible progress, but no "stop", you'll be happily waiting forever?
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:50 AM   #9
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Jaed - bad comparison with online music and the ipod - there was loads of music available before the ipod (which is actually what made the device viable in that instance!!)

History and personal frustrations aside - content is what will make the device more than niche - that's hopefully what the B2B partners will deliver ... but where are they?
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdam
Jaed - bad comparison with online music and the ipod - there was loads of music available before the ipod (which is actually what made the device viable in that instance!!)
Yes, there was music but all of that music was on CDs... And apart from ripping from CDs the only other place you could get mp3s was from Napster, downloads etc... I can't recall a single online music store that sold legal mps until Itunes came along...
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:17 PM   #11
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Why do you all assume, that the B2B partners must be publishers?

Maybe the B2B customers of iRex have a totally different focus. Like using the device for their own purposes, which might not have anything to do with reading ebooks.
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:34 PM   #12
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Is a good point. The iLiad wacom should be of interest to B2B partners, in other case they should go to cheaper readers.
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:35 PM   #13
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Excellent point, Tribble. I think there'd be a lot of interest among academia (universities, etc.), for instance.

There are now services for professors to have students submit their papers electronically, and the service runs a check for plagiarism. But right now, the profs have to print those papers out to actually grade them. What if they could load them on an iLiad-like device, read, grade, and shoot the results back to the student all electronically?

My wife’s getting her PhD in English Lit. (has already done a fair amount of teaching) and she’s quite interested in such a device, and thinks the other profs she knows would be too. But it would really have to have an A5 screen to be truly useful for this –- most “everyday” dox are just A5.
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:05 PM   #14
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to Jaed's point... the fact that it wasn't legal didn't stop people trading or downloading it ... legality and formality were less important to the facts of availability and ease of use; a LOT of people were using Napster et al, enough to let Rio introduce the first real portable MP3 player (way before the iPod). Also in terms of CD's - the issue here was that a standard (pretty much universal) format - MP3 was available and the means of turning CD's into MP3's was easily and freely available.

Content was readily available and/or the means of production were freely available is what drove this - not legality.

What the iPod (or rather iTunes) did was find the commercial model to persuade a lot of people to use (at least in part) a legal service (a good thing!) but in terms of a legal source being the main source of music? having just read the long tail, there is a statistic in there looking at iTunes tracks sold / iPods sold giving a figure of 25(ish) tracks per iPod ... for a 20-60GB device, other tracks must come from somewhere (CD's other file sharing services, swapping collections etc) ....


With online music the stars were aligned, with the current state of online books - I'd question if they are aligned at this point to drive such uptake ...

Last edited by pdam; 10-11-2006 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:07 PM   #15
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...also to Tribbles excellent point - and function that has to print out, and/or carry around a lot of reading material on a regular basis would likely be interested ...
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