May 04, 2010 09:48
A new era of electronic books is beginning as manufacturers release a flood of new wireless e-reading devices.
Kyobo Book Center, the nation's largest book store, has joined hands with Samsung Electronics to launch its newest touchscreen e-reader. Viewers can read up to 70,000 volumes of various genres through the new gadget, including novels, newspapers and cartoons.
The biggest feature of the device is its screen's resemblance to paper books. The sunlight-friendly display mimics printed paper, and by using a stylus viewers can highlight or underline on the screen as they read along.
Another e-reader called Biscuit, manufactured by one of Korea's largest online shopping malls, Interpark, is also selling briskly since its launch last month. The lightweight 3G-capable device offers easy e-store access, allowing readers to search and download books at any time, from anywhere. Interpark recently concluded a deal with Barnes & Noble, the largest book retailer in the U.S., to receive original editions of foreign books.
The Culture Ministry announced recently that it would set aside more than US$50 million over the next five years to foster the nation's e-book industry. Although some major hurdles remain, such as the release of Apple's iPad and the ongoing clash between manufacturers and content providers, the e-book industry in Korea is already showing signs of exponential growth.
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