Plastic Logic Exits E-Reader Business It Never Really Managed to Enter
The company, which first debuted its touchscreen e-reader at D7, is shuttering its U.S. operations in Mountain View, Calif., and scrapping entirely its latest e-reader plan, which saw it peddling its devices in the Russian education market. Rather than continue to develop hardware, Plastic Logic will focus on licensing its flexible display technology to other companies.
So what will come of that $700 million factory Plastic Logic had planned for Zelenograd, Russia? Evidently, plans for that facility have been scaled back — substantially. Rather than a manufacturing plant, that operation will now be an “R&D center of excellence.”
A wise move for Plastic Logic, exiting a market it really never had a chance in. The company’s $800 Que was far too pricey for a stand-alone e-reader, even one targeted at enterprise. And Plastic Logic wasn’t nearly nimble enough to negotiate the rapidly changing e-reader market.
But there are others who are, and who might put Plastic Logic’s flexible, but rugged, screen technology to good use. And according to Plastic Logic CEO Indro Mukerjee, the company is already in talks with several potential customers. He says the first products using the company’s technology could arrive at market by the end of this year. Though given the company’s history, that window’s probably as flexible as one of its displays.
Below, Plastic Logic shows off a Que prototype at D7.
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