You have to admire Peking University’s Founder Group: when asked about any connection between their ebook device, shown here, and Amazon’s Kindle 2, they bravely told those at the Digital Publishing Fair in Tokyo that “it has nothing to do with the Kindle.” Unfortunately they also seem a little confused about their own hardware specifications; asked about the E Ink panel size, and they said it was “unclear”. Happily Tech-On!’s Takuya Otani had brought a ruler, and found it to be a Kindle-like 6-inches.
After “carefully examining” the device, Otani decides there are a few differences between it and the Kindle, though when you’re scrabbling round flagging up differences in button shapes and logo it says a lot about the origins of your inspiration. Inside the device there’s some form of wireless connection, probably GSM since it requires a SIM card, which can be used for downloading new ebooks while on the move.
According to Founder International this is a prototype, and the eventual product will arrive in China at the end of 2009, with a possible Japanese launch at some point after that. It’s expected to be priced at around $210 and support the Peking University’s own Apabi ebook viewer software.