From the looks of it, a few months ago e-books was Amazon land, the Kindle was the only king of e-readers, and most customers were stuck with reading their favorite e-books on a few devices that Amazon allowed. Then came the challenge from Sony: three e-readers to cater to your wallet and wants, great discounts on bestselling e-books, and a library where you can rent e-books for free for at least 21 days. Kindle users will most likely take a look at the tag price disparity between the Kindle and Sony's e-readers and the prices of e-books available at the Sony store--how can you beat free anyway?
It looks like this move inspired a lot of other companies to try their luck in the e-reader business. iRiver, a company known for the its DVD and mp3 players in the past, will be rolling out its own e-book reader called The iRiver Story.
You won't find wireless downloading like Amazon and Sony offer in their devices, but the Story does support SDHC cards and a slew of useful formats without conversion: PDF, E-Pub, txt, e-comics and Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Word and Excel docs).
From the looks of it, it's a Kindle clone. The price is not as competitive as the Sony's, but it can read more than a book though. The first ones to get will be Korea this month, while iRiver's still negotiating a deal with both the Europe and US publishers. We hope that they can cut the price lower than $300 to ensure some competitiveness in this market.