Exclusive by Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY, NSW: iRiver, long regarded as Apple’s only rival in the PMP style stakes, is apparently building an Android-based media player to take it to the iPod touch next year.

According to local distributor C.R. Kennedy’s iRiver product manager, Danny Bejanoff, the new model, called the K2, will come with a 3.5-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi, built-in browser, accelerometer, Bluetooth and a digital TV tuner.

While the TV tuner functionality is doubtful if the device ever comes to Australia, the spec matches the iPod touch in all areas that matter, bar an application store.

Other details, like capacities and screen type are not confirmed, and sadly the project is not yet 100 per cent signed off, as Bejanoff hinted that it “will be an interesting one if it sees the light of day”. However, if it does emerge it will be an interesting fight.

Bejanoff also revealed that iRiver is working on a new e-book reader and internet tablet, which he hopes to have in the country for testing “as soon as possible”.