Google Enters the E-reader Market
Is the e-reader landscape about to change? With "Google it" being one of the most common response's to random questions, the extent of Google's integration into the daily lives of the masses and its power is unquestionable; it has been a major force in the search, discover and sale of e-books, but unlike e-book sales giants Amazon (with its Kindle) and Barnes & Noble (with its Nook), Google had no exclusive e-reading device that integrated directly with its eBookstore ... until now.
According to an article on Content.USAToday.com, "When Google launched its eBookstore back in December, it was possible to read Google eBooks on Android and iOS devices loaded with a Google Books mobile app, as well as on other devices with a Web browser [more than 80 devices in all, according to Google]. But an important page to this story was missing. Google's online book emporium wasn't built into any dedicated electronic reader in the same way that the Kindle bookstore is part of Amazon.com's Kindle reader or the Barnes & Noble online bookstore is part of its Nook devices."
In just a few days (July 17), Target stores nationwide, as well as Target.com, will be selling Google's iriver Story HD e-reader (using E Ink screen technology), "the first e-reader integrated with the open Google eBooks platform, through which you can buy and read Google eBooks over Wi-Fi," stated the Official Google Blog this week. "The Story HD is a new milestone for us," wrote Pratip Baerji, product manager, Google Books, on the Google Blog.
The device will retail for $139.99, priced on par with competing e-reading releases from B&N and Amazon, which generally are priced from $114 to $189. It reportedly is 7.5 inches (height) by 5.01 inches (width), is 0.37 inches deep, and weighs 7.30 oz. The screen is 6 inches, with a 768 X 1024 pixel resolution (an industry first?), and 16 grayscale color depth, according to the iriver Story HD website.