Foxit eSlick ereader axed amid cheap wireless rivals

Foxit has axed development of its eSlick ereader, intending instead to focus on "platform-independent PDF technology" which it hopes to license to third-parties.  Initially unveiled back in December 2008, the eSlick was rebadged Netronix hardware that Foxit loaded up with their own custom software; it was priced at $199 though lacked any form of wireless connectivity.

That specification hole – together with the fact that Kobo began selling their own version of the Netronix hardware for $50 less – left the eSlick looking uncompetitive against discounted Kindle and nook devices.  According to Erik Bryant, Assistant Vice President Sales at Foxit, "We have been licensing our PDF and ePub technology to a number of eBook vendors. Our decision to discontinue eSlick is to eliminate the possibility of competing with our partners."

[via The Digital Reader]

Press Release:

Foxit Corporation Licenses Industry-leading PDF Technology to eBook Providers

Converging on its core business strength, Foxit Corporation, a leader in PDF software solutions, today announced that it will license its industry-leading PDF and ePub technology to key players in the eBook market to help enhance digital rights management, content management, content distribution and viewing technology in the space. The company will cease development of the eSlick™ Reader, its own electronic reading device, to focus on providing platform-independent PDF technology and multi-device support to leading eBook providers.

Foxit's unique ability to convert documents and images to any eBook device will support the rapidly growing market for electronic reading devices. While eBooks currently comprise an estimated three- to five-percent of the entire book industry, many experts predict that digital book sales will skyrocket in the coming years due to the growing number of devices such as the Apple® iPad™ and Amazon® Kindle™. By refining its ability to convert documents and images to PDF, ePub or eReader PDB files, Foxit's core PDF technology will be invaluable to the growth of this market and to the standardization of eBook formats.

"We have been licensing our PDF and ePub technology to a number of eBook vendors. Our decision to discontinue eSlick is to eliminate the possibility of competing with our partners," said Erik Bryant, Assistant Vice President Sales, Foxit Corporation. "We're looking forward to making the most impact possible on the growing eBook market by providing our proven, top-of-the-line PDF software technology as an industry standard to the principal providers of electronic reading devices."

Foxit is best known for its free PDF viewing software, Foxit Reader, which has an easy-to-use navigation system that enables the rapid download of PDF documents, reliable viewing and printing options, a tiny desktop footprint, single or multiple document interface modes, and rapid response security releases. Foxit recently announced Foxit Reader 4.0 : , the newest version of its small, fast and feature rich PDF viewer for Microsoft Windows.

In an effort to provide its partners with more flexibility in managing local markets, Foxit Corporation will close its European branch office and work directly with local distributors and resellers from its U.S. headquarters in Fremont, Calif. For more information on Foxit corporation's reseller program, please contact : .

About Foxit Corporation

Foxit Corporation, a Microsoft Certified Partner, is at the forefront of cost-effective electronic document solutions. Customers of Foxit's award-winning products include major technology and healthcare companies; global financial services firms and government agencies.

Founded in 2001, Foxit Corporation believes in innovative, standards-based technology and unrivalled customer support, with a deep commitment to sustainable, environmentally sound products and services.