• Table of contents

    • [+]Preliminaries (3)
    • [+]Introduction (4)
    • [+]Latin America (13)
    • [+]Sub-Saharan Africa (9)
    • [+]Arab World (11)
    • [—]Russia (11)
    • [+]India (11)
    • [+]China (9)
    • [+]Conclusions (6)
    • [+]Appendix (1)


E-readers and other local devices

If, as we have seen, there is considerable activity taking place in online platforms – stores, distributors and libraries –, then we must acknowledge that the hardware industry displays even greater vigour. In addition to the aforementioned Ozon Galaxy or iChitalka, dozens of e-readers are manufactured in Russia and sold in both the domestic market and abroad, particularly in the former Soviet republics. The variety and sophistication of these local devices are so great that the e-publishing specialist Vladimir Prohorenkov states:

In 2010 I personally tested 32 different e-readers, including just a few foreign ones: the SonyPRS-350/650, the Nook by Barnes&Noble and Amazon’s Kindle. All the others were national products, with regard to both design and production. [1]

Indeed, on entering the site The-Ebook – coordinated by Prohorenkov –, the visitor is presented with a whole host of devices that don’t tend to appear in the foreign media.

One new development that did come within the radar of the Western news portals was the alliance between PlasticLogic and Rusnano, perhaps because of the impact this move will have on the global hardware industry, particularly in the field of e-readers. Rusnano – a state-owned nanotechnology mega-corporation based in Moscow – has decided to invest 700 million dollars in the US/UK company PlasticLogic, with the aim of setting up an electronic component manufacturing plant on Russian soil. Many sources agree that the initiative is designed to greatly expand production of plastic screens for e-readers.[2] In any case, it is obvious that Russia is becoming a player that cannot be ignored in the field of reading devices.

  1. Personal interview, January 2010.
  2. Cf. Gorst, Isabel: “Deal of the day: betting on Russia’s e-readers”, The Financial Times, 26th November, 2010.

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