The ABA, which is selling Google eBooks through its IndieCommerce platform, is pursuing a variety of app and digital device options for its members to sell, but the iRiver digital reader is unlikely to be one of them, the organization’s COO Len Vlahos told PW. On Monday, Target announced that it would be the exclusive retailer for the HD Story, a new digital reader developed by the Korean manufacturer iRiver, and the first integrated with the Google eBook platform.
Vlahos noted that ABA has developed a brief FAQ for its members on the iRiver which is below.
Does it link to IndieCommerce sites for purchase?
No, it links only to the Google eBookstore.
Can it read eBooks purchased from IC websites?
Yes, we believe that it can. We have not had an opportunity to test it yet, but we believe so.
Is this Google's "Kindle"?
No. Google has a very different relationship with this device. Google is not making it, nor are they selling it themselves. Instead, Google makes their APIs available to any hardware manufacturer who would like to build a device that can integrate with Google eBooks. So, if you are a company manufacturing ereader devices, you could choose (as iRiver has in this case) to build a device according to specifications provided by Google. As the article suggests, there will be more such devices coming in the future from different manufacturers. It's not unlike the retailer program Google has which we participate in.
Will ABA have a device like this?
ABA is moving forward with development of an ereader app, and talking to device manufacturers about creating a device which would come with this app preinstalled. Google is supporting and encouraging us in this effort by providing us and potential partners with access to the same APIs used by iRiver.