Remember the Plastic Logic Que? It was quite the hit at CES, with a thin form factor, plastic touchscreen, and full suite of productivity options to go along with its ebook reading capabilities. It was pricey, at $649 for a WiFi-only version and $799 for a 3G+WiFi option. Still, it was unusual enough that it generated a great deal of buzz.
Anyone who pre-ordered a Plastic Logic Que Reader received this email on Friday:
Thank you for being one of the first customers to order a QUE proReader from Plastic Logic. We appreciate your business.
Today, I wanted to personally inform you that we are postponing the first QUE proReader shipments until this Summer in order to fine-tune the features and enhance the overall product experience.
Within the next month we will send you an email with more details about your order. If you also ordered accessories for your QUE proReader, we plan to ship them at the same time as your QUE proReader.
I can imagine that you want to get your QUE proReader as soon as possible. We are sorry for the delay. For your inconvenience, the shipping charges will be on us.
Please note that we will not charge your credit card until your order is ready to ship.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us at QUEhelp@PlasticLogic.com
Once again, thank you for being one of our first QUE proReader customers.
As I am sure you can imagine, people are less than thrilled. But it’s not just Plastic Logic; the Alex Reader was also quietly delayed, and there hasn’t been a peep from since CES. Attrition is swift in the tech world, but this is ridiculous! Some of this is that these devices were competing against the Kindle, and now with the iPad weighing in, they have another bigger, deeper pocketed competitor. It makes sense that there would be some behind the scenes tweaks to adjust accordingly.
Still, if we use some of the big CES announcements as a yardstick, so far only the Entourage Edge has actually shipped on time! Everything else is either still in prototype form (Adam Tablet), delayed (Alex and Que) or just plain missing in action (Skiff). Plastic Logic was especially harmed by the disparity in their 3G and wifi options. Whether or not the Que can conclusively offer a better experience in some areas over the iPad, they are facing an uphill battle to convince consumers on the pricing front. Maybe what they are tweaking is the pricing structure?
Dan said this the other day when the news first hit about the Que reader, and it really sums up the current tablet/ebook market:
We are going to see more vaporware this year than we have seen in a long long long long time…
I would bet on it.