Need more proof that iriver’s best designers and most creative minds abandoned ship to hop on board the mintpass vessel? Here it is: the iriver wave.

Iriver_wave

No, what you’re experiencing is not déjà vu. You really have seen this 3.63-ounce device with its 3-inch 480 x 272 touchscreen, 4GB of internal memory, and miniSD card slot before. Although it now has 802.11b/g wi-fi and phone capabilities through Korean wireless carrier KT, the wave is just the reincarnation of the iriver W7 digital media player. Well, the reincarnated spirit in the same body, anyway.

Nothing is necessarily wrong with that body, of course, but let’s not use that as an excuse for iriver’s laziness. Yes, I know that the W7 won CNET’s Best of CES award in the MP3 and Portable Video category, but that was 10 months ago.

Iriver_wave_intph

Iriver_wave_angle

You don’t see any other established company, especially one who used to be renowned for its innovative designs, reusing old casings to launch new products.

The fact that iriver actually already did this before (remember when it stripped the W10‘s wireless functions and renamed it the W7?) doesn’t make things better either. And if the wave is actually just the old W10 come back to life (the product page URL includes W10 in it, after all), I’m even more annoyed. The design of the W10 (not the original one, the second one; yeah, iriver recycles its model names too) dates back to about 18 months ago!

Iriver_wave_phone

Full specs of the iriver wave are here. The phone is expected to launch on March 9, 2009 (yep, nearly two years after the design was first shown) for an unknown price. But whatever the cost, you can pretty much bet on the fact that you’ll have seen it before.

[Engadget | Hallyu Tech]