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Old 06-10-2010, 06:56 AM   #31
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Fairly hard for a company to charge a premium for a product with poor support.
That was the reason why I bought PRS-505 instead iRex iLiad v2.
They used their customers as guinea pigs. Some advanced guinea pigs rather enjoyed the process, but I am not intelligent enough and would die immediately.
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:02 AM   #32
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I've read similar impressions of poor customer support by iRex. Could you mention some examples? It's just curiosity from my side, but hopefully somebody else will learn about it.
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:08 AM   #33
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I've read similar impressions of poor customer support by iRex. Could you mention some examples? It's just curiosity from my side, but hopefully somebody else will learn about it.
I don't have any hard evidence.
2.5 years ago. October-November 2007 I have been doing a research for iRex iLiad v2.
I was reading topics and asking questions in 3 places:
1. here
2. Russian the-ebook.org
3. iRex community forum.

After 4 or 5 weeks I have given up the idea. At that point of time most of good and widely used s/w came from community!??? It is not the way for a company to make a name.
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:17 AM   #34
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Well, we shouldn't forget that iRex was mainly focused on business customers until 2009. Yes, they sold their devices to end customers too but it wasn't their main business segment.
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:24 AM   #35
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Well, we shouldn't forget that iRex was mainly focused on business customers until 2009. Yes, they sold their devices to end customers too but it wasn't their main business segment.
I know that business customers were intended to be their target market, but I do wonder if things turned out that way. Certainly, we don't see many messages on here from businesses saying "We bought 50 of these ..." etc.

What I do see are message from students and other individuals who simply want a large screen device, with PDF support, and annotation capabilities. This makes me wonder if the actual market that bought the product was different from that expected by the company.

As a result, they had a choice of whether to refocus their attention on the actual purchasers or keep pushing away at the business market.
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:32 AM   #36
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I've read similar impressions of poor customer support by iRex. Could you mention some examples? It's just curiosity from my side, but hopefully somebody else will learn about it.
There are three very definite problems:

1: Promises not kept: such as the claim in advertising that the battery on the RS1000 would last for weeks, when in fact it lasts for about 8 hours at best. Likewise, promises that various product or firmware releases were due at certain dates, only for there to be silence when the promised date arrived, and the product when it came out months later lacked promised features.

2: Purchasing difficulties: many people have tried in vain to buy an iRex device, and been left confused about whether or not their order was actually received, and been even more confused to be told their order was either cancelled or delayed for several months.

3: Pricing: in the case of the 800, the price difference is so much higher in Europe than in the US, while at the same time the functionality is lower. This turns off most potential customers in Europe. Now that we are talking about price, the 1000 is extremely expensive, and so only will appeal to those who are desperate for a large screen device. This means that market penetration will always be tiny. You either need to have a massively better product, or a massively compelling price. I am not sure iRex got the balance between the two right.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:10 AM   #37
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that is indeed sad news.

not sure it's a big shocker, though. when i first became interested in an ebook reader, i simply couldn't afford an irex. it's not like they cost a little more than my cybook - they cost a lot more. i never even knew they had come out with a cheaper model because in my head their brand was equated to the highest prices. that's not a good thing in a consumer market.

btw, blockbuster video went chapter 11 in the early 90's, and they've been around an additional 18 years or so, so some businesses do pull through.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:16 AM   #38
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Damn it. I'm still saving for one of these neat Irex eReader 1000S. I need a neat DIN A4 reader.

Is it still save to order one? I don't care about new firmware.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:32 AM   #39
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Well, we shouldn't forget that iRex was mainly focused on business customers until 2009. Yes, they sold their devices to end customers too but it wasn't their main business segment.
At least they don't stop telling us this. Form my experience with them (tried to bring them in contact with an very interesting e-learning institute) and by the fact that they got very little attention even in the netherlands themselves i would say they maybe were also poor in this business.

They messed it so badly up with the e-learning institute in the way of communication and business behavior

My personal impression is/was they would like to build up the picture of them beeing a big player in b2b and beeing very generous to give us the end consumer their high end business products.
But in the end i think we, the very first adaptors, helped them out in a financial way by preordering and paying the first waves of iLeads.

Maybe i am wrong but their good sounding press releases about newspaper launch tests or ilead's replacing school books projects were never followed by news documentating their "big success"
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:45 AM   #40
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iRex, the true story....at least according to the distributor for Italy, who today sums up his business relationship with the company and his CEO Hans Brons on his blog at www.simplicissimus.it.

Here's the translation provided by Google:

http://translate.google.it/translate...a/&sl=it&tl=en.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:15 AM   #41
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I find it rather interesting how, all of a sudden, so many people allegedly "knew" that iRex cannot succeed with their marketing strategies and customer service. I wonder if they would sing a different tune today had there not been the FCC delay (and observing how things and lobbies in the USA usually work, I'm ready to believe there was some intention (or foul play) on the part of the Americans to delay iRex sales...)

I bought the pricey European DR800, I never regretted it, I still think it's a superior reading device. In the end I'm very sorry that iRex - one of the very few companies that still has its production line in Europe and not in China (or somewhere in the East) where the workers are dirt poor and working for peanuts so Americans and Europeans can have their affordable technology - find themselves in financial trouble. I hope they'll make it work somehow, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:18 AM   #42
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My personal impression is/was they would like to build up the picture of them beeing a big player in b2b and beeing very generous to give us the end consumer their high end business products.
But in the end i think we, the very first adaptors, helped them out in a financial way by preordering and paying the first waves of iLeads.
They were never a "big player". Neither in B2C nor B2B markets. While it is true that many early adopters helped them out in some way, their money still came from ABN Amro and Main Capital and in the early days from Philips (well, no surprise here) and Sony. They had also agreements with some specialized companies who are still using or selling devices based on the iLiad and DR1000. No big deals but maybe sufficient for a company of that size.

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Maybe i am wrong but their good sounding press releases about newspaper launch tests or ilead's replacing school books projects were never followed by news documentating their "big success"
"Good sounding press releases" are just part of the marketing puzzle - in every company.

Finally they tried to go a completely new way, tried to compete with the Amazons and Sonys of this world and failed terribly.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:02 AM   #43
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I'd say they aimed too high... Big screens, big prices - I always wanted a bigger screen reader, but iRexes were always so overpriced. Normal people want normal priced gadgets.
I don't know about that, I'm pretty normal (no matter what they say). And I think the DR800 is (was?) priced just right for the US market. It costs the same as Sony's Daily Edition, but the DR800 has a bigger, sharper display in a more standard aspect ratio. It's priced less than the larger Kindle DX.

I think the DR800's size is just about perfect. It looks at home beside the Kindle 2 and Nook (it's just a bit shorter and wider than those devices), but it offers nearly double the display surface. I don't have to sacrifice much when viewing full-pages, and I don't have to lug around a super-sized device.

I really hope that IREX can turn this thing around.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:12 AM   #44
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Well, I cannot say I predicted anything back year, or two years ago, but I I started sensing iRex is dead with iPad.

The difference -- iPad (as usually Apple product) has polished, shining quality of software. iRex on the other hand has buggy, crappy firmware and developers who probably have no clue what is going on, so they release new revision with major regressions.

Now, do the math, how such company can survive if they cannot manage its own product with NO real competitors, and now they how one and the serious one.

iRex so far behaved like a bunch of kids who would like to do something, but they are not sure, maybe this, maybe that. So, lesson for you iRex, business is war. Do it right or perish.

(it is unfortunate for me for two reasons: I am owner of DR1000, soon, device w/o even virtual support, and second -- there is no other ereader with such big screen; Skiff "is" bigger, but it seems it was probing the market with mockup, nothing else).
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:44 AM   #45
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If your marketing is good enough the price isn't the issue most of the time.
Is that a daring pointer to Apple?
at least their products are durable so far that i have seen..
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