Maker of the Eee reader, Asustek has found an unlikely business partner in a large religious group.
Asustek launched of its first Eee Reader e-book reader, the 9-inch TZ-900, in Taiwan for US$323. It is a bit pricy but apparently it did it through the aid of its business partner with Tzu Chi. Tzu Chi is one of the three largest Buddhist organizations in Taiwan. It is highly respected because it does not mess around too much with getting enlightened so much as it is interested in community service.
Asustek made its e-reader on the back of initial shipments of 5,000 units, to the group. Eee Reader TZ-900 is customized for Tzu Chi, with members of Tzu Chi or related organisations target customers. Tzu Chi wanted the reader believing it could save a bomb on printing 10,000 monthlies, Asustek indicated. Meanwhile Asustek gets a bit of the rub off of the charity and religious image of Tzu Chi.
More than 5,000 TZ-900 readers have been sold via pre-order, and Asustek expects to sell 100,000 units based on more than one million members of the Tzu Chi group in Taiwan plus overseas members.