The word from Der Spiegel is that German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom is developing a Kindle rival, of sorts, the as yet unnamed portable e-reader project carries the codenamed “News4me” – there are no images of what the Deutsche Telekom device will look like.
Deutsche Telekom has put this little blurb on their website;
The News4Me project aims to create an individual electronic newspaper. Subscriptions are possible to complete issues or to individual sections from differing newspapers, which will then be transmitted to mobile devices. The contents and the layout adapt constantly to the way that you read. In future, wherever you are, you will benefit from easy access to current news and information which correspond to your personal interests.
According to the Der Spiegel article, the head of Deutsche Telekom’s R&D department, Peter Möckel, says Deutsche Telekom sees a niche market in the gap between mobile phones and laptops and will serve as a conduit for printed media. Deutsche Telekom is said to have plans to test few dozen prototypes in Berlin by the end of the year.
Unlike the Kindle however, the Deutsche Telekom device is rumoured to let customers download personalised content from print media onto their readers, we’re not exactly sure what this means, but there is speculation that the device wont allow for RSS feeds. Also unlike the Kindle, the Deutsche Telekom device is expected to contain targeted ads and is said to be bendable.
Deutsche Telekom isn’t expected to manufacture the device or even provide content for it, since they are a telecommunications company, my guess is that they will simply deliver the content to the device and charge a percentage fee for the content.
Deutsche Telekom could use targeted ads to offset some or all of the price of the reader which will make it more appealing than the $359 Amazon charges for the Kindle.