Google eBooks gets first dedicated e-Reader

Google's eBooks format for offering downloadable books is getting its first e-Reader product that's made specifically for the format. Today Google announced, via its blog site, that starting this Sunday, Target stores will begin to sell the iriver Story HD e-reader. The product, which will cost $139.99, joins the ever growing list of e-Reader devices on the market that also compete, in a way, with more comprehensive tablets such as Apple's iPad.

The iriver Story HD has a WiFi antenna which can be used to download books to the device. The Google eBooks format has over 3 million books available for free and hundreds of thousands of other books available to purchase. The device also has a QWERTY style keyboard on the bottom. Google hints that there are more devices that will be compatible with the Google eBooks format in the works.

Most e-Reader devices are cheaper than tablets as well as smaller and lighter as they are dedicated mostly to just downloading and reading books. Amazon.com has led the way in this market with the Kindle, which now has three different versions, including one that runs with ads on the bottom of the screen. However, a recent study claims that sales of the Kindle have been surpassed by the Nook Color from Amazon's biggest rival in the e-Reader space, bookseller Barnes and Noble. The $250 Nook Color is more than just an e-Reader; it also has some entertainment apps such as Angry Birds along with a Flash supported web browser.

Image Credit Google.com

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17 Comments

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On the plus side, it's E-Ink, which [imo] all 'proper' dedicated e-readers should be. Apps are fine on smartphones, tablets and the like, but that's about it.

On the downside - it looks hideous. Personal opinion obviously, but there we go. Because of licencing isues, the Google Integration likely won't work outside the United States, and unless I missed it, there wasn't anything in the press release about what formats it'll support.

I wonder when Apple will sue every one for using any word starting with i, iBM, iNfosys, iMeoga, iNtel?

Iriver has been around since ever and made great mp3 players before iPod came to life, may they should sue Apple

Really? Target will sell this iriver Story, but they wouldn't sell the Zune HD? Lame. I highly doubt in a world where either the Kindle or the Nook are the defacto choice of eReaders, that iriver will make any more sales than the Zune HD.

Ok, I get the novelity of e-ink, but why are they doing this?

They could just partner with the 10 other products already out there if it is about content distribution.

Can they not work with anyone? They are starting to act more like Apple, either create their own thing, buy the company/rip off the technology, or just say we don't like it and screw our customers.

(I guess this explains why they recently stopped offering Google Books from other devices/servies like the on the on Toshiba Tablets.)

It would be different if this device had full color e-ink or had a full tablet type experience or at least something different. It is nothing but a Kindle, or am I missing something about it that makes it interesting?

CoMMo said,
Wonder how long it will take Apple to sue them for putting the letter i at the beginning of the device's name.

Sadly too true to funny. I (meaning myself) am suprised they haven't gotten it ripped out of the english language as a prefix and used in reference to oneself.

Apple has a bit of a arrogance/ego problem where they try to play the role of victim. (In psycho-therapy, they are the 'abuser/angry person' role.)

CoMMo said,
Wonder how long it will take Apple to sue them for putting the letter i at the beginning of the device's name.

Isn't iriver a company that has been around for some time? They make USB-sticks and stuff like that, I think they also have mp3 players in their lineup...

Stup0t said,
iriver ........ Are they asking for trouble from apple

iRiver has been around a LONG time, so I don't anything will happen, since it hasn't yet.

The $250 Nook Color is more than just an e-Reader; it also has some entertainment apps such as Angry Birds along with a Flash supported web browser.

It's a full-on android device.