Far EasTone gets ready for digital text age

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fri, Jul 09, 2010 - Page 12

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd (遠傳電信), the nation’s No. 3 telecom operator, yesterday said it planned to sell digital texts for users to download and read from tablet devices from September at the earliest.

Far EasTone wanted to introduce Apple Inc iPads and other tablet devices for users to read digital texts because the new gadgets would provide functions beyond e-reading, company vice chairman and president Jan Nilsson said.

Apart from the iPad, the possible launch of tablet PCs would be in September, Nilsson said. Far EasTone showcased three tablet devices from Apple, Acer Inc (宏碁) and China’s Huawei Technology Co (華為) during yesterday’s press conference.

“We found people’s reading habits are changing rapidly,” Far EasTone Commercial Director Yvonne Li (李彬) told a media briefing yesterday, citing the fast-growing number of digital book downloads on Amazon’s e-reader Kindle series and Apple’s iPad.

Digital books downloaded by Kindle accounted for about 66 percent of the digital books sold in the US, Li said. More than 5 million digital books were sold via iPads in the three months after its launch in April, she said.

Far EasTone aims to double the number of digital titles available to 10,000 for mobile-user download by the end of the year, and is collaborating with more than 50 local publishers to meet the goal, Li said.

In addition, the phone company has set a target of attracting 100,000 members to its digital book service over the next 12 months, Li said.

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation’s biggest telecom carrier, yesterday said that as of last month more than 1 million digital books had been downloaded from its app store since the company began selling digital texts by phone last October.