It’s official: everyone is making an eReader – including Time

Unverified rendering of new Times eReader

Unverified rendering of new Times eReader

Time Inc. (which includes Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Life, People and Entertainment Weekly to name a few) published an internal document stating they were exploring the possibility of launching their own eReader within three months.

The presentation titled “New Platforms and Business Models for Publishers” was published in June but was updated as recently as August. Text in the document shows Time Inc. has as growing need to enter the eReader fray. It even references the importance that tablets or “large-screen, keyboardless touch-sensitive computing devices” will play in the future market — specifically mentioning Apple and HP.

The “Key components to the winning model” section mentions the strategy Time will most likely use: creating a physical device (“tools for research, design innovation and manufacturing”), including an online store (“commerce engine”) and creating a catchy name for the device (“consumer-facing brand”).

The story was broken by NBC Bay Area and was also picked up by Gizmodo who speculates that Time may be in talks with some of the smaller but emerging eReaders like the Plastic Logic reader and iRex.

The last two weeks have been peppered with eReader announcements. Asus announced their spined, two-screen, color Eee Reader (which may have two versions) and iRiver released more specs on their Kindle-istic Story eBook. A report was released showing that Amazon controlled 45% of the eReader market followed by a healthy 30% by Sony. We also talked about the eReader market as a whole and if there’s room for all this competition — especially with the emerging tablet market that could wipe the eReader category off the face of the earth.

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