[DPF] Chinese Firm Exhibits Kindle Look-alike

Jul 11, 2009
Takuya Otani, Nikkei Electronics
The exhibited e-book reader
The exhibited e-book reader
[Click to enlarge image]
The Kindle 2
The Kindle 2
[Click to enlarge image]

"Huh? Is this the Kindle?"

I found an electronic book (e-book) reader similar to the Kindle 2, which Amazon.com Inc released in February 2009, at Digital Publishing Fair 2009, an exhibition taking place from July 9 to 12, 2009, at Tokyo Big Sight.

The e-book reader was exhibited at the booth of Founder International Inc, which is the Japanese unit of Peking University Founder Group Corp, a major IT firm in China, and drawing attention from visitors.

"Peking University Founder Group independently developed this terminal, and it has nothing to do with the Kindle," Founder International said.

At the first glance, the terminal looked very much like the Kindle 2. But, after carefully examining it, I found some differences, for example, in the shapes of the buttons on the right and left sides of the terminal, the width of the upper frame and, of course, the logo.

E Ink Corp's electronic paper (e-paper) is used for the display, Founder International said. The company said that the size of the screen is "unclear." But I measured it and found that the size is probably 6 inches, which is the size of the E Ink's e-paper used in the Kindle 2.

Though the exhibited e-book reader is a prototype, it will be improved and released at the end of 2009 in China at a price of $209 to 210, Founder International said. By using a SIM card, contents can be directly downloaded to the terminal, it said.

Probably, this terminal will support contents for "Apabi," e-book viewer software developed by Peking University Founder Group.

In the future, Peking University Founder Group will possibly release the e-book reader in Japan, Founder International said.