French daily Les Echos will be published electronically on the iLiad, a portable device that lets you read and write as you do on paper.
It is the first official European newspaper deal for iRex Technologies, a spin-off from Royal Philips Electronics.
Last year, Belgian daily De Tijd was distributed electronically as part of an small experiment with 200 subscribers. iRex also secured a deal with the Yantai Daily Media Group, which started the daily publication of an electronic edition of all newspaper titles. However, Les Echos will be the first European paper to introduce an iLiad on a permanent basis. Two Dutch daily newspapers have also shown interest.
iRex recently negotiated with Amazon.com, but the online bookseller decided to develop its own closed eBook system, to be introduced next month. "We couldn't agree on a deal, because the iLiad uses open formats such as PDF and HTML, and Amazon wanted a solution that resembled Apple's iTunes, which isn't open either," a spokesman told The Register. ®