You'd think that a company fresh out of revealing a new, color, flexible display technology for e-readers would scramble to get such an item out as soon as possible.
Plastic Logic has just finished smashing and grinding into dust that particular assumption, having announced that it will not, in fact, use that flexible display in an e-reader.
More precisely, it won't be making any new e-readers, period
If it had chosen to keep trying to carve out a slice of the segment, PL would have released a 10.7-inch business reader, called Que.
Alas, after examining all aspects of the business, the company decided to “cease its e-reader product development activities and focus on other applications for its flexible plastic displays.”
There supposedly already are several manufacturers interested in the flexible panel technology, so we'll definitely see more of it, not just on the e-reader front (assuming there are e-reader makers interested in it) but also in larger displays.
It all boils down to how many collaborators the company gathers and how many licensing deals it inks.
“[Plastic Logic will] actively develop licensing and technology partnerships to exploit its e-reader related capabilities in terms of rugged, plastic displays as well as driver and viewing optimization software,” the company reportedly said.
“Entering this market two years ago was a very logical step to take. It was growing fast. However, this market is driven by tough price competition and many companies are now relying on content sales exclusively to make an economic return and to cross-subsidize hardware. Therefore, for a company at Plastic Logic’s stage of development, the e-reader model as a sole route-to-market does not make commercial sense at the current time.”
Plastic Logic's business decision has raised job concerns at its Cambridgeshire, UK plant, where up to 40 people may find themselves unemployed in short order. The facilities in Russia and Germany might be restructured too.