It looks like that report of Mirasol being delayed until 2012 was an error. Kyobo, South Korea’s largest bookstore and ebookstore, has just unveiled their new Kyobo eReader. Yes, that is the Mirasol screen you see on the device.
This is the 5.7″ screen that Qualcomm has been working on for past several years, with a resolution of 1024×768. The Kyobo eReader is running a locked down version of Android 2.3 on a 1Gz Qualcomm SnapDragon S2 single core CPU. It has Wifi, touchscreen, and card slot.
Kyobo will be supporting the Mirasol eReader with a 90 thousand title ebookstore as well as video lecture content from EBS, a Korea-based provider of educational material.
The Kyobo eReader is going to retail for 349,000 won (~$305 USD). Kyobo Platinum Book Club members will be able to get it at a discounted price of 299,000 won (~$262). It’s selling today in SK, but there’s no info on when Qualcomm’s other partners will launch models in other parts of the world.
Oh, and I don’t expect to see this ebook reader anywhere but SK. Kyobo is a Korean company and i doubt they are interested in outside markets. They have 10 stores in 7 cities (I’ve heard of them before), so they look to be busy with dominating the one market.
Update: I’ve changed my mind. Given the Qualcomm CPU, screen, and the fact that Qualcomm has previously developed Android OS firmwares, I think that this model could have been designed by Qualcomm. That means we could see other partners using the same general design.
But I am expecting to see it at CES 2012. Qualcomm will definitely have this in their booth.
BTW, this launch comes as a slight surprise (considering my post this morning) but it also comes as no surprise. I’ve seen an uptick in stories about Mirasol screen tech lately so I suspected a launch was happening soon.
And would you look at the price? It’s selling for $300. I think I was right about the problems this screen tech will have in the US market; I can get a Kindle and a decent tablet for that price.
Update: Qualcomm updated the Mirasol website with more info on the device. Check it out. There’s even a couple demo videos and they are worth watching.
Update: They also posted a few photos on Flickr.