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iRiver to release cellphone early in 2009

updated 05:15 pm EST, Mon November 10, 2008

iRiver handset coming 2009

The President of ReignCom, the company behind the iRiver brand known for personal media players, has recently announced that iRiver will bring its first handset to market by March of 2009. Due to be carried by Korean wireless provider KTF, the handset will include a large touchscreen display capable of recognizing handwriting, a Wi-Fi module for wireless network access and access to Bugs Music Service. As is typical of Korean handsets, a few dictionaries are also included in the handset.

First seen at the CES show back in January in concept form, the unnamed handset will be initially available at just 10 iRiver Zone stores before a planned expansion to major carriers. At this time, no pricing information is known, nor if ReignCom plans on bringing the handset to North America. iRiver is a long-time competitor to Apple's iPod range of personal musical players, and has long offered touchscreen devices such as the SPINN. [via Hallyu Tech]







by MacNN Staff

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  1. McDave

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    What a

    brick!

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    i-scream i-phone

    Why bother, iRiver? I guess every mp3 player company is expected to produce a phone, otherwise, you are not normal.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Too Late?

    When the iPhone came out there was a rush by multiple companies to build iPhone-like phones; some even said they had been working on a similar concept before the iPhone was introduced. My thoughts on why companies reacted this way to the iPhone was due to two reasons. First, most companies dismissed the iPod when if first came out, after it was apparent the iPod was a huge success companies have been chasing the iPod ever sense. And, lets not overlook the impact iPod/iTunes has had on how music is bought and sold today verse 10 years ago. So when the iPhone came out, I think there was a recognition that this was - at the very least - like the iPod, and if they were going to get into the market then they needed to do so in the beginning. Second, I think there was a general recognition of the intuitive nature of the iPhone and its potential. The iPhone, even in it's first iteration, was so far ahead of anything else on the market, I think in the normal pace of product advancement one would have expect this to be a future concept prototype, but it wasn't, it was a production model. Sadly, most, if not all, attempts to introduce a touch screen phone have only demonstrated the complete lack of vision and technical know-how to actually produce a winning product. It's clear to me that if these companies didn't have the iPhone as a benchmark we'd still have the exact same phones we had 2 years ago today.

  1. gitcypher

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    I've said this before

    iRiver produes amazing mp3 players. As far as I've seen, they've been the only company on par with the iPod. They've been in the game for years... even back when they had the best mp3/CD players. The same way apple went from mp3 to phone, I wouldn't doubt iRiver's capability. However, timing is way off.

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