The Spanish telecom
Telefonica Movistar announced yesterday that they will soon launch their own ebookstore and ereader.
The ereader will be the Movistar bq, which looks to be a close relative of the Binder, a product of Sagem Wireless (rebranded as the Fnacbook, Thalia Oyo & others). Like the Binder, the Movistar bq has a 6″ Sipix screen, a capacitive touchscreen, Wifi, 2GB Flash, and a microSD card slot. The Wifi version of the Movistar bq will retail for 169 euros starting next week, and a 3G model will be coming later.
Telefonica Movistar are working directly with publishers to stock their ebookstore, and they hope to sign deals with Santillana , Random House and Planet by September in order to build a catalog of over 1,500 titles. Estimated ebook prices will range from 3 to 12 euros.
It’s supposed to be a cloud based system, thus doing away with DRM. But I don’t see how. This is a Wifi based ereader, and you can’t assume it will always have web access. there must be some confusion here about how the word “cloud” is being used.
I’m betting that Amazon are about to launch a local Kindle ebookstore in Spain some time in the next month or so. I’ve noticed these past 6 months that a lot of companies pick their launch date based on the hints they’ve heard about their competition. I know Amazon are hiring for a Spanish ebookstore, so they are the likely competitor. (Plus @arhomberg told me it was happening soon.)
On a related note, bq have added a bunch of tablets and ereaders to their lineup; you might recognize the Avant models that I covered last fall. Also, the bq Voltaire and bq Darwin look similar to a couple Nextbook models sold by E-Fun here in the US, the bq DaVinci recently showed up as the Bebook Live, and the bq PocketPlus bears a striking resemblance to the Bookeen Opus.
BTW, I’m pretty sure bq used to be known as “Booq”, but I can’t find it in my notes. Can anyone confirm this?