In the wake of rising competition and a recent price war sparked by Barnes and Noble, Plastic Logic announced it is abandoning plans to release an eBook reader of its own.
"We recognize the market has dramatically changed, and with the product delays we have experienced, it no longer makes sense for us to move forward with our first-generation electronic reading product," Rich Archuleta, chief executive officer, said in a statement. "This was a hard decision, but is the best one for our company, our investors, and our customers."
Archuleta added that his company would shift its focus away from the Que and begin building a second generation ProReader product, taking whatever time is necessary to "re-enter the market as we refocus, redesign, and retool" the Que's successor.
It's unclear exactly why Plastic Logic chose to dump it's first-gen reader, but it likely had to do with the sudden price cuts from the industry's two major players, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Coupled with the fact that Plastic Logic initially intended to sell its black-and-white Que for $650 when it was first shown off at CES earlier this year (before the iPad debuted), this cancellation was probably inevitable.
The QUE is, according to Plastic Logic, about the size of an 8.5 x 11-inch pad of paper, and has a shatterproof touch screen display. The QUE is less than one-third of an inch thick and has built-in WiFi and 3G wireless capability (through AT&T). The QUE can handle PDF, Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents, and will come with tools that allow interaction with, and management of, content. Actual design features, however, are pretty much a mystery, as Plastic Logic hasn’t been very forthcoming with images showing the QUE’s configuration.
Barnes & Noble hopes the combination of eReaders will mount a credible challenge against Amazon’s Kindle. According to William J. Lynch, president of BN.com, “Carrying [Nook] and QUE allows us to provide consumers a one-stop destination in Barnes & Noble stores to demo and buy two of the best eBook readers on the market.”
Pricing and availability were not included in the announcement. It is expected that Plastic Logic will announce such details at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in January.
As competition starts to heat up, we don't know who -- if anyone -- will emerge as the dominant ebook player, but if judging on looks alone, Plastic Logic's new "Que" might just take the crown.
Named after the English alphabet letter and not the Spanish equivalent for "what," the sleek-looking Que has received a glossy black finish that wasn't present in previous prototypes. And while this isn't always the case in real life, the Que has more going for it than just good looks.
The Que's letter-sized 8.5 x 11 inch screen boasts a "shatterproof" design and also includes a capacitive touch layer that won't interfere with the e-ink display. Users will be able to sketch and manipulate documents with it, and on the connectivity front, the Que features AT&T 3G and WiFi.
Despite all the Que has going for it, Plastic Logic insists it isn't going after the Kindle market, and will instead focus on providing a comprehensive platform for mobile professionals.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory are on the verge of launching the "world's first flexible electronic screen", The Times Online reports. The new display represents a decade of development and would compete with the various electronic readers currently on the market, such as Sony's e-book readers and Amazon's Kindle.
Plastic Logic, the company responsible for the device, says it doesn't plan to release a roll-up screen just yet, saying consumers aren't interested in that level of flexibility.
"People worry that it will break if they roll up a device and dump in in their bag," said Martin Jackson, vice president of technology at Plastic Logic.
Plastic Logic says its touch-screen reader only needs to be charged once every two weeks and that the screen uses no power when the image isn't changing. The device is expected to be especially popular for e-versions of newspapers.
Look for the device to be launched in the U.S. sometime in early 2010 at a similar price point as Amazon's Kindle.
For some time now Barnes & Noble has been a WiFi hotspot for hipsters with ironic t-shirts all across the nation, however these hipsters have had to create accounts and pay in order to reap the benefits. But, thanks to a recent desire to push a fledgling online bookstore, the prices and account requirements have been lifted.
Barnes & Noble struck a deal with AT&T to provide free Internet access to those within their walls, all thanks to an online bookstore that they hope will compete with Amazon. They’re so confident, in fact, that they’re in the process of developing a reader of their own (currently in development with Plastic Logic).
Barnes & Noble is boasting that their eBookstore is launching with 700,000 titles (500,000 of which were public domain offerings from Google), compared to Amazon’s launch catalog of 300,000 volumes.
Should you find yourself in a Barnes & Noble enjoying the free WiFi, feel free to check out the online bookstore here. Or, if you’d prefer, continue to spend time with us. We prefer the latter.
The print media is under constant pressure from its more dynamic electronic counterpart. As if the idiot box and online news outlets weren't enough, it has now got blogs and podcasts to contend with. It will have to evolve quickly, so as to to keep its rivals at bay. Some companies see an opportunity in that imminent need for reinvention.
Plastic Logic happens to be on of those companies. It has developed an electronic newspaper reader that uses a plastic display. The company will be showcasing the device at an emerging devices show in San Diego. It hasn't still named its electronic newspaper reader, which has a screen size twice that of Amazon's Kindle. Pocket Logic’s reader didn’t have to pay a hefty price for the increased screen size: it weighs only two ounces more than Amazon’s reader and is thrice as slim.
It replicates the look of a newspaper, but is also meant to display business documents. The company will make key announcements regarding its reader, including its price and details of content providers, during the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.