Charbax caught up with the Chinese OEM Yitoa at a trade show some time back and they showed him their latest ereaders.
Yitoa has been developing tablets and ereaders for several years now (they designed the flexible Wexler FlexOne) and lately they have focused their attention only on ereaders, which they plan to license to third parties.
They showed off several models, including a super cheap 6″ model which lacked a touchscreen or frontllight but had a retail cost of only $43. The unit on display, curiously enough, had a Bebook logo (I thought that company was out of the market). And as we can see in the background Yitoa has a number of different models in display.
But more importantly, Charbax also caught a couple new 6″ models, one with a Rockchip CPU and the other with an Allwinner CPU. Both of those ereaders sport a frontlight and touchscreen, and they also run (or can run) Android 4.0.
I can’t tell if they also come with Google Play, but I would not be surprised to find out that they do. But I can add that the one model is running on a 600MHz Rockchip RK2818 CPU with 4GB internal storage, a capacitive touchscreen, and a frontlight – but no page turn buttons, alas.
I checked and neither of the new models is shown on the Yitoa website, so unfortunately I can’t provide more info.
I have to admit that I was surprised when this video crossed my desk today; like everyone else I had thought that the ereader market was dying out, and yet here was a Chinese OEM investing in developing new models.
Either development costs are lower than I expected, or the ereader market (even in its depressed state) is still large enough that sinking the development costs is worth the risk.