Google eBooks-integrated e-reader iriver Story HD will hit the stores next Sunday, July 17, but will it pose a threat to Amazon’s Kindle and Barns&Noble’s Nook run for their money?
According to Google’s official blog posted this morning, the first ever e-reader with Google eBooks integration will be available in Target stores and Target.com starting next Sunday. The blog reports that the retail price of the device will be at $139.99, only $0.99 more expensive than the 6-inch Kindle or Nook.
The official site of iriver (www.iriver.com) does not give much detail on the iRiver Story HD yet, but reports from other sources say the new e-reader claims to be the world’s “highest-resolution 6-inch e-reader,” offering XGA (768x1024) resolution.
In addition, the device will have built-in Wi-Fi which will allow direct download of contents rather than connecting to a PC. About the battery life, CNET has reported six weeks from a single charge while PaidContent reported three weeks. The device will have QWERTY keyboard laid out at the bottom.
Compared to its current competitors surging in the e-reader market, the South Korean company iriver is relatively unknown and the hardware spec is not that impressive, with the possible exception being its high resolution display. Both Kindle and Nook claim two months of battery life with a single charge. Nook is also equipped with touch screen function rather than a physical QWERTY keyboard.
However, it is the contents that could lure the customers into getting this e-reader over Kindle or Nook. iriver users will be given easy access to the 3 million free books and several hundred thousand paid books in Google eBooks.
Kindle does not support Google eBooks unless it uses a third party software to convert. Nook supports Google eBooks, but its users have to go through the tedious step of first downloading to their computer and then copying it over to their device.
Google eBooks, which launched in December 2010, is growing rapidly and now includes more than 250 independent bookstores. Google has also extended its affiliate networks.
Should Kindle and Nook worry about surviving in this competitive e-reader market? Leave your comments below.