Plastic Logic shuts down QUE ereader, shifts product strategy
Plastic electronics solutions provider Plastic Logic has canceled its QUE ereader product, introduced during January's Consumer Electronics Show and slated to ship later this year. The firm--which creates products based on its proprietary plastic electronics technology, positioned as a rival to silicon--said it will instead shift its focus to bringing to market a second-generation ProReader device. Plastic Logic CEO Richard Archuleta cited market changes and product delays behind the decision to kill the QUE. In July 2009, AT&T announced an agreement to provide 3G data connectivity for the QUE, inking a deal with Plastic Logic similar to Sprint's agreement with Amazon.com to power the online retail giant's Kindle ereader unit.
The QUE is not the first ereader to succumb to mounting competitive pressures in the segment, which is dominated by devices like the Kindle and Apple's iPad. In mid-June, Dutch manufacturer iRex Technologies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing lackluster sales--iRex first launched the iLiad ereader unit in 2006, and in September 2009, Verizon Wireless announced an agreement to power its iRex DR800, an 8.1-inch touchscreen device with connections to Barnes & Noble for digital books and NewspaperDirect for periodicals. Slated to go on sale at Best Buy stores for $399, the ereader faced multiple delays and missed the lucrative 2009 holiday shopping season, finally surfacing earlier this year.
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