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Old 06-10-2010, 11:48 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Logseman View Post
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.
This is my personal opinion. Their customer support was ok.
My Iliad-BE took 2 trips to Eindhoven and back in less than 1 year. That means about 2 months out of my hands.
IRex have been good enough to manage this without much hassle.
In my personal opinion, they have a fragile device and a decent customer service, nothing to be overjoyed at, but also not to be spit at. I have seen worser and better.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:57 AM   #47
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but I I started sensing iRex is dead with iPad.
beg to differ. IPad cannot dent an eink reader the same way that cars and motorbikes did not eradicate the need for a bicycle. Both have their uses.

I just cant tolerate the glare or weight of the ipad when i want to read, especially at night before sleep.
I also just cant tolerate the slowness of an ebook reader...two sides of a coin..
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:59 AM   #48
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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...)
It does make you wonder what the FCC delay was about...Sony, Amazon with big readers coming to market around the same time? But I also wonder if IREX had got earlier FCC approval what their consumer marketing strategy would have been. Perhaps they were putting everything on their deal with Bestbuy in the US - which in itself would have made them very vulnerable. And what about European marketing - their resellers all seem to be small outfits and their direct selling operation was at best "low key" and at worst a shambles.

Having said that, I'm still happy that I bought my 800 when I did, and I still don't see anything that better meets my needs - just hope the wheels don't come off it because it's unlikely whatever happens there will be any warranty back-up from now on.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:20 PM   #49
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I'm sure they could generate some cash quite quickly if they could sell some of their DR800SG's over here in the UK for approx the same price they're selling in the US (perhaps give a 20% discount for likely loss of guarantee and future updates). Apart from raising some revenue they would then get a larger customer base which might make them look good in the eyes of a buyer. Hey, they'd even save money shipping to the US. Perhaps do a bulk order through MR.

Could the SIM card be swapped to something that might work over here?
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:51 PM   #50
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It is quite ironic to read this from their CEO:
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Then last year, the DR800 - August 1 "ereader initially intended for the U.S. market - was delayed due to leakage of the FCC approval procedures, missed iRex major release just before Christmas, making a commercial success was forthcoming. This is a direct cause of the financial malaise, says Bronze.
If history has not been changed, the DR800S (not the US DR800SG) model was released in January 2010. Does an ereader without wireless option has to go through similar FCC procedure in Europe too? Or it doesn't matter because Europe people don't buy even for Christmas?

Anyway, whatever caused the delay cannot be undone now. Granted, the dr800 and dr1000 are still very good ereaders in the 8 inch plus category. However, the price point has already determined that this would be a very small market. And for people in this market, they have higher demand than those who are satisfied with 6 inch devices to justify the extra cost. And if the company failed to satisfy these demand in a timely manner, it is just a matter of time to be out of business.

Personally, I think Chapter 11 is good for IREX and customers. While they have to come up plans to do whatever financial tricks to stay, they will also have to make the current products more profitable, that means more useful features and less bugs, which is probably not urgent if they sell well. In the worst case, someone else will buy the design team and come up with new marketing strategies to sell them. The biggest problem for existing problem is truly the warranty.
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Old 06-10-2010, 02:09 PM   #51
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Anybody else wondering when Plastic Logic will be joining them?
not any time soon- they have a huge bankroll and really good backing of their investors. You have to remember that Plastic Logic's core is their plastic electronic tech and the continuing advancements they are making on that front. The Que, when it arrives later this month or early next, is a showcase for that plastic transistor tech to show that it works in consumer devices. They will be around for quite a few years yet.
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Old 06-10-2010, 02:11 PM   #52
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And I think the DR800 is (was?) priced just right for the US market.
I agree with this statement. The pricing is good for this device now. In 6 month’s I am not so sure. I expect a host of new devices in 2H10 that will compete on price and size. I firmly believe one of there biggest problems was distribution. They needed a large B&M store so people could see/play with it. If they had been able to supply units to Best Buy I believe it would have defiantly worked. With this launch pad, I believe they could have signed up other distributers. The quantity of people that would buy this type of device at the pricing level without seeing one is a small pool I believe. I know I am one of them. While I wanted one, I would not buy one without being able to try it out.
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Old 06-10-2010, 02:19 PM   #53
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I understand there were also some difficulties between them and Best Buy over their distribution agreements etc. which caused some of the delay.
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Old 06-10-2010, 02:23 PM   #54
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Well, after all I'm glad I didn't go for it. But paying 200€ more here in Europe without wireless in comparison to the US model wasn't in for me. At least I never understood how a better equipped model can be shipped to the US and then be sold for less than they sell it here.
If they would have sold a little cheaper, I think they would have a had a lot more potential buyers.
If you take the US price, convert it to Euros and then add in the high VAT and other fees that Europe typically has (which are included in the price), it actually comes out pretty close. Somebody went through the math in another post, I don't remember all the details though.
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Old 06-10-2010, 02:27 PM   #55
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beg to differ. IPad cannot dent an eink reader the same way that cars and motorbikes did not eradicate the need for a bicycle. Both have their uses.
In theory DR1000 has its uses. I bought it for reading the books, but instead I waste my time waiting for booting up, then I wait for opening the pdf, then I wait because I am not sure it crashed, then I reset it, then I wait again, then I think of the trick how to open this pdf...

So back to your analogy -- if you were fan of cars, but all you can get is some old pile of steel which takes long to start, after starting it spill the oil (BP, ekhem), then the tires fall off -- would you consider buying instead a new, shining, fast bike which has only one disadvantage that after half an hour you start getting a headache.

Me? Sure. Half an hour is all I have per day, and it is better reading a book from glossy LCD screen than looking at progress animation on Eink screen.

The problem is now all users of ereaders have living proof that ereader is not a second class citizen, that it can have really thoroughly tested firmware (it is strange, there are several opensource pdf-readers on regular computers, yet iRex decided to use some buggy custom one, NIH syndrome I guess). That using ereader can be fun, and not frustration.

Quote:
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I just cant tolerate the glare or weight of the ipad when i want to read, especially at night before sleep.
I also just cant tolerate the slowness of an ebook reader...two sides of a coin..
I can tolerate the slowness actually. I cannot tolerate randomness -- sometimes I press the button and I get the led lit, sometimes I press button and I don't get the led lit. So what is it? DR1000 is _processing_ such advanced feature as lighting the led?

But in general I totally agree with you in this part. Considering iPad will be soon major player (read: it will have tons of accessories and software), I think it is better for me to switch. It is more sane for me to read with breaks for eyes rest, than wasting time on waiting for reading.

I will stay with iRex and recommend it only (only!) if iRex would open source entire software for DR1000. 100%, nothing less. Then it would be a chance to grab the code, fix the bugs, and finally _read_. Without such move we are on mercy of iRex and it does not work.
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Old 06-10-2010, 02:39 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
If you take the US price, convert it to Euros and then add in the high VAT and other fees that Europe typically has (which are included in the price), it actually comes out pretty close. Somebody went through the math in another post, I don't remember all the details though.
Actually, if you add 100$ to 399$ and multiply by a still imaginary 1 $/€, you'll get get even closer to the European price.

Otherwise, you statement is not correct. Sorry.

Besides, it ignores the advantage of a home product, which anyone would expect to have, meaning not having to have to pay high shipping costs and import taxes.

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Old 06-10-2010, 02:45 PM   #57
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I think some of their biggest problems is that the company originally did not intend to sell finished devices to end users. They were setup around a core group of display engineers and wanted to sell that technology to other device manufacturers. Most of the first Generation eInk devices (Sony, Amazon, etc) all contained iRex display hardware in them.

Their original plan with the iLiad was to create a superior hardware device and put out a framework firmware and an SDK so that other companies could customize it for their particular market and then be resellers. Initially, iRex didn't plan on selling the iLiad to consumers, nor did they really have the necessary infrastructure in place to support selling it themselves. Things like the eFlyBook were their main focus.

http://www.eflybook.com/

Once they did change their focus and try to get into selling their own finished devices, they never seemed able to figure out exactly how to do it well. Probably a lot of that had to do with the people who started the company never set the company up that way and didn't necessarily understand what it takes to successfully market and support an end user device.

I think this is where a lot of their issues with unfulfilled software promises and customer support problems come from.

My personal opinion of them is that they have a technically superior device, but don't understand well how to sell it.
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Old 06-10-2010, 02:51 PM   #58
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Quite the interesting times for the epaper companies that all initially rolled out of Phillips.

Polymer Vision goes through Bankruptcy (thanks to a giant ponzi scheme its major backer was involved in in the UK/Europe) literally on the verge of beginning sales of the Readius. Quite literally they had produced over a thousand units in batch runs ramping up to full production and had a final batch that was actually ready for sale when everything stopped. Now they have been purchased by Wistron and are preparing to go to market with a sort of new and improved Readius 2 in about 8 months.

E-Ink has become the defacto standard for EPD screens since they have a huge initial market penetration advantage. Of course now they have been purchased by PVI so their financing is more secure and they can more effectively and quickly move forward with e-ink epaper development.

Now Irex is in financial trouble and will most likely be bought by someone. They have a good amount of IP and Knowledge concerning e-ink as used in actual devices etc and I would think that would lend them to being purchased by a larger company but left somewhat intact as has happened with PolymerVision and E-ink. With a bit of tinkering, debt restructuring and FOCUS they might be able to overcome this and re-emerge as a leader in the field.

I wonder if a company like Onyx is capitalized enough for such a purchase. They have history since one of the people who started Onyx actually worked for Irex. More likely it would be a larger manufacturing company as with the others. Maybe someone like LG would take them in...only there they would more likely be absorbed into the company as a whole instead of kept as a subsidiary.
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Old 06-10-2010, 02:52 PM   #59
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Actually, if you add 100$ to 399$ and multiply by a still imaginary 1 $/€, you'll get get even closer to the European price.

Otherwise, you statement is not correct. Sorry.
399 + 20% VAT is already 478. They sell it for 499. The last 20 is probably exchange rate, customs fees... or whatever. There's another post around here somewhere (by someone else) that broke it down in more detail.

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Old 06-10-2010, 02:54 PM   #60
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The Que, when it arrives later this month or early next, is a showcase for that plastic transistor tech to show that it works in consumer devices. They will be around for quite a few years yet.
"When it arrives" being the emphasis there. It's been what, a year since they've promised release? I remember heavy speculation the QUE would be out soon at BookNet Tech Forum 2009. And next month Mirasol will have a partner too, right?

I think iRex is starting a soon-to-be-popular trend in ereading devices: bankruptcy. How many of these things can there be?
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