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Summary:

The Berlin-based Txtr is now selling its barebones e-reader, the Beagle, for €59 in Europe. The plan was to offer it for under €10 through subsidies from mobile carriers, but those deals haven’t surfaced yet — though the company says it’s close.

txtr beagle

When Berlin-based Txtr announced its tiny e-reader, the Beagle, at the Frankfurt Book Fair last fall, the plan was that it would cost under €10 (USD $13) because it would be subsidized by mobile carriers. “We believe e-reading is a great tool for mobile operators to strengthen their relationship with consumers,” Txtr CEO Christopher Maire said at the time.

So far, though, those deals with mobile providers haven’t been made public. Txtr announced Wednesday that it is selling the Beagle directly online in Europe for €59 (USD $76). “We are in talks with mobile operators and will announce details of the packages offered soon,” the company says on its website (via Google Translate). “For those who do not want to wait any longer, we offer an exclusive and unique opportunity to acquire the txtr beagle.” The Beagle will also eventually be sold in the United States for $69.

However, deals with mobile providers appear to be on the way. Txtr’s COO, Thomas Leliveld, told me that Txtr is “in contract phase with a leading EU operator” that will offer a subsidized device under €20. “We are also in closing stage with five more major EU operators,” he said. “I hope to be able to announce the lead customer in the next few weeks.”

At €59, the Beagle isn’t a great deal: It’s a barebones, Wi-Fi-less e-reader that runs on two AAA batteries. Users transfer ebooks to it from their Android smartphones via Bluetooth; iOS is not yet supported. The €59 purchase price includes a €10 credit for ebooks. By comparison, Amazon sells its cheapest Kindle (which includes Wi-Fi) in Europe for €79 (USD $102).

Via The Digital Reader

  1. Robert Malone Monday, May 13, 2013

    It isn’t even a proper e-reader as it can’t actually read any ebooks. The ebooks have to be converted page by page into a series of images then uploaded to the txtr. So basically, it’s just a rather sad and pathetic image viewer.

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  2. The other day, in a major department store near Birmingham, I bought a brand new Nook Simple Touch for £29 (€34 / $43). A real e-reader that has wi-fi and doesn’t need a smartphone. Given that price, I’d say the Beagle needs to be €10 rather than €20 to stand any chance at all, and even then it won’t have much.

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