In what looks to be an early casualty in the e-reading device wars, IREX, the Dutch firm set to release the DR800SG, a $399 3G wireless stylus-touch screen e-book reader, has filed for bankruptcy due to lackluster sales. Despite a high profile launch in the U.S. and agreements with retailers Barnes & Noble and Best Buy, the device faced several delays in reaching the market and missed the 2009 Christmas shopping season.
IREX CEO Hans Brons blamed the company’s financial setbacks on delays getting FCC approvals for the device which prevented getting it to market. IREX is best known for developing the iLiad line of black & white e-ink readers in 2006. IREX was founded as a spinoff company from Philips Electronics and was instrumental in the development of the e-ink screen display technology.