Several reports on forthcoming or no longer forthcoming hardware hit the news yesterday.

Most notable is the report from Nick Bilton at the New York Times “Bits” blog that notes the Kindle is just the beginning of the range of devices Amazon wants to invent to make it easy to purchase digital content of all kinds, not just e-books. According to anonymous sources, Amazon’s “Lab 126”, the division responsible for the Kindle, was originally intended to create lots of projects, though it has focused solely on the Kindle so far.

“Jeff’s original goal for the lab was to build a range of other devices,” said one person, referring to Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive. “There was talk of music players and other electronics.”

However, a number of job postings indicate Amazon may now be in the process of expanding. Nearly 80 job openings in various positions were listed in the company’s hardware division, and its earlier acquisition of multitouch company Touchco suggests there are touchscreens in Amazon’s future.

And CNet reports that Plastic Logic has finally driven a stake through the heart of the Que, its large e-ink tablet that was one of the most anticipated e-reading gadgets until the iPad usurped its spotlight. On Tuesday, just a few weeks after delaying shipping again and refunding pre-orders, it announced it was cancelling the device altogether.

"We recognize 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," Plastic Logic CEO Richard Archuleta said in a statement. "This was a hard decision, but (it) is the best one for our company, our investors and our customers."

Plastic Logic’s representatives declined to comment on the recent rumors that it might be sold to Russian company Rusnano.

And on the Hewlett Palm front, Engadget reports hearing from trusted sources within HP that it will launch a WebOS tablet during the first quarter of 2011, and the project is codenamed “Hurricane”. As Engadget points out, this means HP is theoretically releasing tablets with three different operating systems—Windows 7, Android, and WebOS.


  1. Len Edgerly had a terrific video from the Electronic Expo earlier this year featuring the spokeswoman for the Que demonstrating the product. Other than the pricing (a key issue), it and she looked great. Too bad. check it out at

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