Plastic Logic’s Que falls victim to tablet wars


The booming sales of the Apple iPad means nobody will have to queue for a Que e-reader. The sudden drop in e-reader prices left Plastic Logic's device so exposed, the company has had to scrap all of its marketing plans.

In January, it was announced the expected price tag was $649 (413), without 3G connectivity, and the principal distributor would have been Barnes & Noble. However, recently the bottom fell out of the e-reader market when prices had to be slashed to compete with Apple's tablet device.

Now the dust has settled, the price of Barnes & Noble's own Nook e-reader has fallen to $149 (95) and it signalled the end for the Que.

Richard Archuleta, Plastic Logic's chief executive (CEO), said: "We recognise the market has dramatically changed and, with the product delays we have experienced, it no longer makes sense for us to move forward with our first-generation electronic reading product."

"This was a hard decision but is the best one for our company, our investors and our customers," he said.

The major hitch may have come at a bad time for the company. On Monday, it emerged a Russian government-owned firm, Rusnano, was considering acquiring the British firm.

Rumours claimed a condition of the purchase would be a relocation of Plastic Logic's next phase of development to Russia. This could mean the Cambridgeshire company's design and development team would move away from its roots as a Cambridge University spin-off.

It would also mean the loss to Britain of the company's ground-breaking work on electronic circuitry, based on thin, flexible plastic substrates.