Delta Electronics Inc (台達電), the world’s top switching power supplies maker, is set to join hands with China Mobile Ltd (中國移動) to debut its first e-reader in December, sources from the supply chain said yesterday.
The 8.2-inch reader will come in colored panel instead of the monochrome models that are now available. It will bundle with features such as 3G and Wi-Fi.
The model will carry the “Vivitek” brand. Vivitek Corp (麗訊), a maker of e-paper and projectors, is a strategic partner and brand client of Delta.
China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator in terms of subscribers, will subsidize the e-reader and further partnership will depend on how well the market receives the first product, sources said.
“There are some bugs still to be ironed out for the product to make it on time for the December launch,” a source said.
“Delta is very aggressive with the e-reader segment, because it has the capability to control the whole manufacturing process, from e--paper and components to the end products. The e-paper could be applied to a wider range of products and e-readers are only one example,” the source added.
Delta’s move means it is set to compete head-to-head with China’s largest player, Hanvon Technology Co (漢王).
Hanvon has a slew of monochrome readers on offer, but will only unveil its first colored model in Japan in November, with mass release of colored models to follow early next year.
Meanwhile, despite Acer Inc (宏碁) keeping mum on the exact launch dates of its tablet and e-readers, sources said the PC maker is gearing up for the release of its first tablet PCs in Europe and the US next month.
The tablet will use Linux or Android operating systems, sources said.
Acer’s local telecom partner Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) told the Taipei Times last month that it plans to release Acer’s tablet in the fourth quarter in Taiwan.
Far EasTone is testing tablet prototypes and would bundle tablets from three different partners with its monthly plans by year’s end.
Tablet models from Taiwanese players, including one that Micro-Star International Inc (微星) will debut in the second quarter next year, will mostly come in 7 inches, 9 inches and 13 inches, according to sources from the supply chain.
A 22-inch tablet is also already in the pipeline, showing Taiwanese PC makers’ eagerness to launch various models in an effort to grab some of the iPad’s market share.
Asustek will also launch its first e-reader model in Taiwan “pretty soon,” the supply chain sources said.
The model will be in monochrome and the initial price has been set at about NT$8,000 (US$256).
The timing is in line with Asustek’s original timeline. CEO Jerry Shen (沈振來) said last month its e-readers would be commercially available in Taiwan, the US and China in late October as the first debut markets.
Asustek’s e-reader is 8.9 inches and runs on ARM architecture, Marvell chips and the Linux operating system.