Book and Reading News

Samsung also leaping into the Kindle cage fight

From The Korea Herald: Samsung takes on giant Amazon in e-books. And, no, we’re not talking about a battle of GIANT WOMEN. “We seek to become a bigger player than Amazon or Sony in the e-book market,” Lew Jae-young, vice president of Samsung Electronics, is quoted saying at a press conference.

The Samsung device, the SNE-50K, which launches later this month in Korea, has an E-Ink display the same size as Kindle 2, no wireless connectivity and touts the first handwriting recognition technology in e-books, which is not true.

The $270.00 (339,000 Korean Won) device will be available through a Korean bookstore chain, Kyobo, and features only 2,500 titles in its current catalog, with a thousand more expected to be added each month. Interestingly, the article states flatly that e-books will sell for 40 percent less than their paper counterparts, so there is no assumption that an e-book must be priced at a specific amount, such as $9.99, to be attractive to the Korean market.

Local language focus may be a boon for Samsung in Korea, where providing double-byte character support and domestic bestsellers can help establish a beachhead for the device.