It’s been 2 months since Thalia first announced that, and earlier this week they finally unveiled the the Oyo II. The original is on the left, with the new Oyo on the right.
As you can see, the Oyo II looks pretty much like the original Oyo. It has the same button layout, 6″ Sipix screen, capacitive touchscreen, Wifi, and card slot, but the Oyo II also has 4GB Flash storage, longer battery life, as well as a faster CPU.
Thalia had it on display at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is wrapping up today. It’s going to ship in November, and Thalia will carry it on all 300 of their bookstores, as well as their website. It’s also going to be available via buch.de and bol.de. Retail is 119€, which is a slight discount from the original Oyo (that sold for 139€). I’d say the price drop is likely due to the new K4 being sold in Germany for 99€.
Thalia also mentioned that they plan to release reading apps later this year, with Android coming in December and iOS app coming in January. Readers will be able to use the Android app and the Oyo II to buy directly from Thalia’s ebookstore, where they stock 300k titles with 100 thousand in German.
I think Thalia should have gotten out of the hardware end of the business. They’re simply not big enough to be selling enough Oyo ebook readers to justify the price. I would lay odds that they are loosing money on each sale.
It would probably have been better to partner with Sony and sell the PRS-T1. Redirecting it to the Thalia ebookstore would require minimal work and saved Thalia the development cost.