Kyobo, South Korea’s largest bookstore chain, is launching the first e-reader to use Qualcomm’s Mirasol technology. It has a color screen that can apparently be read even in bright sunlight, with a long battery life. E-books make up around 15 percent of trade book sales in South Korea, second only to the United States.
Kyobo’s touchscreen Android e-reader will sell for 349,000 South Korean won (U.S. $310). It “includes access to Kyobo’s 90,000 ebook library, notably including early rights from Korean publisher Minumsa for the much-anticipated Steve Jobs’ exclusive biography, a full one-month before any other Korean digital outlet,” according to the press release.
Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM), which is based in San Diego and is best known for mobile phone chips, does not yet have a U.S. partner for Mirasol displays. Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs
*Market share stats are from A.T. Kearney/Bookrepublic, cited yesterday in the WSJ.