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Chinese man makes iPad look-a-like from scratch
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) July 13, 2011

An enterprising Chinese man has come up with a solution for gadget-crazy people who desperately want Apple's popular iPad tablet computer but cannot afford it -- DIY.

In a 20-minute video posted on Youku -- the Chinese YouTube equivalent -- Liu Xinying demonstrates how to assemble an iPad look-a-like using computer parts, a touch screen and a case with a keypad, to the sound of metal music.

At the end of the video dubbed "DIY IPAD 3", the IT whizz shows off the finished version -- an apparently functional tablet computer that looks like a thick iPad but runs on Windows, an operating system made by rival Microsoft.

News of Liu's apparent feat spread on several foreign and Chinese technology websites, as well as on the nation's Twitter-like Weibo service.

When contacted by AFP, the 21-year-old from the eastern province of Shandong said that since he posted the video online a month ago, he has knocked back requests from a dozen pepole wanting him to make them a DIY iPad.

"I did this for fun," said Liu, who works at a computer store in Jinan city.

"It cost me 2,000 yuan ($309) to make it, so I guess that's how much it's worth."

By comparison, the cheapest 16-gigabyte version of the iPad 2 sells for 3,688 yuan in China, while the most expensive 64-gigabyte model costs 5,288 yuan.

iPads and iPhones are hugely popular in China -- the world's largest Internet market with 457 million online users -- and the launch of new models has been known to trigger fights and even crimes.

Last month, a court in the southern province of Guangdong sentenced three people to prison for stealing the design to the iPad 2 and using it to make fake tablet computers.

And Apple was forced to compensate a customer who sustained injuries in a fight at its Beijing flagship store in May, when the iPad 2 was launched.

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Amazon planning iPad rival by October: WSJ
Washington (AFP) July 13, 2011 - Online retail giant Amazon plans to unveil a tablet computer before October in a bid to carve out a slice of a growing market dominated by Apple's iPad, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The newspaper, citing "people familiar with the matter," also said Amazon plans to release two updated versions of its Kindle electronic reader in the third quarter of the year.

The Journal said the tablet from the Seattle-based Amazon will have a roughly nine-inch (22.8-centimeter) screen and will be powered by Google's Android operating system.

It will not have a camera, the Journal said, but will allow users to watch videos, read electronic books and listen to digital music they purchase or rent from Amazon.

The newspaper said Amazon is outsourcing production to an Asian manufacturer and would not design the tablet itself.

Amazon said one of the updated Kindles will be a touchscreen device while the other will not have a touchscreen.

Amazon on Wednesday began selling a cut-price version of its Kindle 3G sponsored by US telecom carrier AT&T.

The Kindle 3G with Special Offers was priced at $139 as compared with $189 for the same e-reader without on-screen ads.

Kindle 3G is designed to connect to mobile networks in more than 100 countries at no cost to users, according to Amazon.

Amazon does not release Kindle sales figures but the Journal said that according to Forrester Research estimates the company has sold 7.5 million Kindles in the United States.

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Google eBooks reader to debut in US
San Francisco (AFP) July 11, 2011
The first electronic book reader designed to tap into Google's vast online library will debut in the United States on Sunday. A Story HD e-reader made by South Korea-based electronics firm iriver will be priced at $140 when it becomes available at US retail chain Target on July 17, according to Google Books product manager Pratip Banerji. "The Story HD is a new milestone for us, as irive ... read more

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