Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

AT&T Adds Another Gadget: Would-Be Kindle Killer Plastic Logic Signs On

plastic-logicHere’s another set of customers for AT&T: People who buy e-book readers from Plastic Logic, the would-be Kindle killer due out next year.

Privately held Plastic Logic says it will rely on AT&T (T) to supply its gadgets with a wireless connection, in the same way that Sprint (S) is the network provider for Amazon’s Kindle.

It’s the second big partnership Plastic Logic has unveiled this week; yesterday, it linked up with Barnes & Noble (BKS), which will be its virtual bookstore. I’m guessing it’s not a coincidence that Amazon (AMZN) announces its earnings Thursday afternoon.

Even if Plastic Logic’s reader becomes as successful as the Kindle, it’s unlikely this will be hugely significant for AT&T, the wireless company iPhone users love to complain about.

Each Apple (AAPL) phone on AT&T’s network represents $30 in monthly data charges alone, plus fees for a voice plan. But while Sprint and Amazon haven’t disclosed their terms, it’s estimated that Amazon pays Sprint something like $2 per Kindle user, per month.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik