Well what do you know, turns out the LB4400 was a harbinger of things to come. LG Display and iriver just announced a $5M joint venture to manufacture e-book readers. The new China-based company, L&I Electronic Technology (Dongguan) Ltd, sees iriver doing the platform development and product design (thank gawd) while LG provides the EPD displays. It's interesting to note that the company will act as an OEM/ODM to anyone looking to slap their brand on an e-book reader... after iriver -- the company's first customer -- takes the pick of the litter.
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Iriver – LG Display
Establish joint venture for e-book business
- Iriver and LG Display financed a total of 5 million dollars to establish a joint-venture company in Iriver's China Plant
- Operating an ODM and OEM system to manufacture e-book reader
- Develop and produce leading e-book readers in the global market by generating synergy in the technology and manufacturing aspects
Iriver and LG Display have agreed to establish a joint venture company, 'L&I Electronic Technology (Dongguan) Ltd.' in China to expand their e-book business.
Each Iriver and LG Display will finance 49% and 51% of the joint venture company, respectively, totaling up to 5 million dollars. The business will be founded on original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and original development manufacturing (ODM) systems to develop e-books and provide production services.
Iriver is responsible for product design, accumulated knowledge on e-book technology, including designs and platform development, as well as technical assistance within the joint-venture. And Iriver will be the first customer for the joint venture. LG Display, with its global sales network and world class production skills, will be in charge of providing a stable supply of e-book displays, such as electronic paper displays (EPD) to the joint venture.
Iriver expects to gain a stronger market presence in both the domestic and global e-book markets as it will gain a price competitive e-book reader supplier from the new relationship. The prospect for LG Display also seems bright. It will stand out from its competitors by securing a stable distribution line for its e-book displays, while also making its debut in the final product business.
Jae Woo Lee, CEO of Iriver, said, "The joint-venture is significant in that it lays the foundation for a more stable and competitive manufacturing line. If we succeed in generating a synergy between Iriver and LG Display, our joint-venture company will grow to become the market leader with unrivaled competitive power in e-book development and production business.
LG Display's Executive Vice President and Head of Mobile/OLED Business Unit Mr. Eddie Yeo said, "LG Display decided to establish a joint venture with iriver to supply customers with more competitive products as part of our upstream-downstream business transformation strategy. LG Display will utilize its advanced EPD technologies to achieve early commercial production of color and flexible EPD and reach the global No.1 position by 2012."