Electronic Newspaper Reader Debuts

    September 8, 2008
    Chris Crum

Plastic LogicPlastic Logic has launched a new electronic newspaper reader similar to Amazon’s Kindle, but it’s about the size of a regular piece of copy paper. Like the Kindle, this reader utilizes E-Ink’s black and white display technology.

Plastic Logic has done some pretty cool things in the past, and I’d be interested to check out this reader first hand. This video posted to YouTube back in 2006 shows some nice flexible display technology the company has put together in the past with the 150ppi SVGA:

The new reader will no doubt be a neat gadget, but will it catch on or will it suffer the same lack of interest that the Kindle has suffered? I don’t think this device or devices like it are going to make traditional newspapers extinct, although they’re not going to help the cause of the print versions. Newspaper print sales are already on a sharp decline:

Newspaper Sales Decline

Electronic readers probably do threaten print newspapers more than say the Amazon Kindle threatens books. People collect books. They pay $25 (give or take) for a book and after they read it, they keep it displayed on their shelf. A newspaper on the other hand is a much smaller investment, and is usually discarded after reading, whether thrown out, left in the office, or left in an airplane seat.

On the other hand, that’s kind of the convenience of the print newspaper. You don’t have to worry about leaving it somewhere. It doesn’t break, and it doesn’t require hundreds of dollars up front (I’m just speculating that this device will be somewhere in that price range, based on the Kindle’s price). Still, none of that changes the fact that print sales are falling.

Plastic Logic is showing the device off at the Demo Conference in San Diego, which is continuing through tomorrow.  The reader has apparently not been given an official name yet, but it is scheduled to go on sale in 2009. The publications that will be available through it are still a mystery.