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Culture & Religion

Coming Soon: A Super-Cheap E-Reader

Revealed today at the Frankfurt Book Fair: The Beagle, a small, AAA-battery-driven device that is expected to sell for less than $13 when offered through mobile carriers.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What’s the Latest Development?

At the Frankfurt Book Fair today, Berlin-based Txtr, an online bookstore, unveiled what it’s billing as the world’s smallest, lightest, and potentially cheapest e-reader. The Beagle is a mere five inches and 128 grams, and that’s with AAA batteries included. Users download books to the device through their smartphone, using either Bluetooth or an Android app. As for its price, Txtr plans to offer the Beagle for under 10 Euros ($13) or even less if purchased through a mobile phone operator willing to subsidize part of the cost. CEO Christopher Maire sees e-reading as a way for those operators to improve their relationship with their customers.

What’s the Big Idea?

The Beagle does not have wi-fi or other features that are found on e-readers like the Kindle, but Txtr isn’t looking at that audience anyway. Chief commercial officer Thomas Leliveld says, “We’re after the 80 percent of of the cell phone market that aren’t digital readers” and may not be able to afford a more expensive device. Rollout to selected countries should begin by the end of this year.

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