LG Display Joins Forces with iRiver to Develop E-Reader

LG Display and iRiver today announced a $5 million joint venture to develop an ebook reader. Under terms of the agreement, the two companies will establish a new company tasked with OEM development, production, and sales of the new device, which will then be sold to electronics customers who are free to slap on their own label.

"The joint venture is significant in that iRiver has now secured the foundation to produce more stable and competitive products," said Mr. Jae Woo Lee, CEO of iRiver. "Once our mutual technical and manufacturing abilities start producing synergies, I am confident that our joint venture will grow into a leading global producer of e-books."

As the agreement goes, LG Display will make a 51 percent equity investment into the new company, called L&I Electronic Technology Limited, while iRiver will invest 49 percent. Production will begin at iRiver's existing ebook plant in Dongguan this September where the companies are hopeful of kicking out some 1 million units in annual production by 2011.

Beyond the business side of things, details are pretty scarce, including what will set the jointly developed ebook reader apart from the spate of other e-readers currently on the market and/or planned for release. There's also no word on what price point the upcoming device will command.