After playing with the Plastic Logic Reader at CES earlier this month, even though just a prototype, we're still excited about what's possibly the first aesthetically-pleasing ebook reader. However with any device of this nature, appealing hardware is only half of the story: Plastic Logic have been teasing us regarding the identity of their first publishing partners since the Reader's first announcement, and now they're promising to tell all come the O'Reilly conference on February 9th.
"Plastic Logic, a privately held Silicon Valley startup that plans to begin field testing its version of an e-reader later this year, says it will announce the identity of its first publishing partners at the O’Reilly conference. The company has been working for more than a year with Hearst’s secretive e-paper venture, FirstPaper, in Palo Alto. Plastic Logic officials confirm that their 8.5-inch-by-11-inch display screen is designed to accommodate traditional newspaper layouts" Bill Richards
Unfortunately we'll have to wait a little longer for the Plastic Logic ebook than first expected. Initial delivery predictions pegged it for a 2009 launch, but we now know it's more likely to be 2010.
That delay could let Amazon slip through with their next-generation Kindle 2, ironically also rumored to be announced on February 9th in New York. The Kindle 2 will have integrated mobile broadband, versus the Plastic Logic Reader's unspecified wireless connectivity, together with access to Amazon's broad ebook catalog. However the Kindle service has focused more on ebook content than it has on magazines and newspapers, meaning there's still room for the larger-screened Plastic Logic to carve its niche.