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Old 02-26-2010, 04:45 AM   #31
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mgmueller,

I never thought you were such an advocate for the QUE! Thanks for making the correction about profit, although guided by your calculations I still think Jobs is making a lot of cash out of the iPad, especially the higher end models ($346 to build, $829 retail price). So the gross profit for the most expensive model would be around 58% right? Since you seem to dig these kind of data here's a reliable source of information: http://www.isuppli.com/News/Pages/Mi...Estimates.aspx

I have to disagree with the opinion that the price of the QUE is justifiable. Perhaps two months ago it made sense when the Kindle DX was the only option around, as it is indeed the market that set prices, but not now when you have soooo many competing products that have similar features and cost way less (Notion Ink Adam, Asus DR-950, Jinke A9, Samsung E101, Entourage Edge, and of course, the mighty iPad, just to name a few). Perhaps I am plain ignorant or I just value too much my money but paying $800 for a QUE is simply unreasonable (unless it has a hidden feature that brings me breakfast to bed Even when the Asus DR-950 has less features, when priced at $350 it sounds far more appealing to me, but then again, I am probably not the target market for PL.

Moreover with the iPad offering many business related apps including iWork (and rumors that there will also be a MS office version) plus as you mention all the extra content that can be acquired though the apple store I very much doubt the black and white, slow refresh, $800 QUE will be able to survive the competing market once it is finally released. Now don't get me wrong, I think the QUE reader is a fantastic piece of hardware, it is simply not justified in terms of price relative to the competition, especially if you do an objective cost/benefit analysis. Lastly, they say that it is targeted at business people, however even when the more I see the QUE's extra large screen and thin design the more I like it, this feeling evaporates as soon as I watch a video (this is a good one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok9TM74VatE of the refresh rates. I wonder if a businessman is willing to wait for the screen to refresh as it is required by these devices for every single action you perform (opening the calendar, highlighting text, zooming, etc). If the iPad experience is as smooth as the iPhone's I think Apple will give PL a hard time getting any demand for their product.

Like I said Jobs just sent all these greedy companies a strong message and the only ones that benefit are the buyers

Last edited by Estuche; 02-26-2010 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 02-26-2010, 05:30 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Estuche View Post
mgmueller,

I never thought you were such an advocate for the QUE, I think this is one of the threads were you have posted more consecutive responses!! By the way thanks for making the correction about profit, although guided by your calculations I still think Jobs is making a lot of cash out of the iPad, especially the higher end models ($346 to build, $829 retail price). So the gross profit for the most expensive model would be around 58% right?. Since you seem to dig these kind of data here's a reliable source of information: http://www.isuppli.com/News/Pages/Mi...Estimates.aspx

I have to disagree with the price of the QUE being justifiable. Perhaps two months ago it made sense when the Kindle DX was the only option around, as it is indeed the market that set prices, but not now when you have soooo many competing products that have similar features and cost way less (Notion Ink Adam, Asus DR-950, Jinke A9, Samsung E101, Entourage Edge, and of course, the mighty iPad, just to name a few). Perhaps I am plain ignorant or I just value too much my money but paying $800 for a QUE is simply unreasonable (unless it has a hidden feature that brings me breakfast to bed Even when the Asus DR-950 has less features, when priced at $350 it sounds quite appealing to me, but then again, maybe I am not the target market for PL.

Moreover with the iPad offering many business related apps including an iWork version for the iPad (and rumors that there will also be a MS office version) plus as you mention all the extra content that can be acquired though the apple store I very much doubt the black and white, slow refresh, $800 QUE will be able to survive the competing market once it is finally released. Like I said Jobs just sent all these greedy companies a strong message and the only ones that benefit are the customers. Now don't get me wrong, I think the QUE reader is a fantastic piece of hardware, it is simply not justified in terms of price relative to the competition, especially if you do an objective cost/benefit analysis. Then again, to each their own so to all three people out there who are planning on getting one I am sure you will be pleased with the outcome

PS: just being silly, not trying to be offensive!
Estuche,

considering the pricing of Que, I've got a simple reference calculation: iRex 800S(G).
It seems to be relatively successful. "Relative" depending on the reference figures. Apple (or maybe even Sony or Amazon) might consider sales figures of iRex 800 mediocre at best. But for a (again, relatively) small company like iRex I guess we can consider the huge response (at least in this forum) a success (assuming it kind of reflects the sales figures). But with a smaller display as iPad and (as the other eInk readers) significantly less options, there shouldn't be any room left for such a niche product (and niche manufacturer). But still, it seems to be the most successful iRex product so far.

Quite frankly, I'm not even a big fan of Que or Skiff. Those seem to be great units, but personally I don't really have any demand for units that big. I already don't use my Kindle DX or iRex 1000S: Difficult to find a comfortable reading position and difficult to transport when traveling.
But we always have to consider the target revenues of such units/companies.

And to use another reference figure: Not so many years ago, Apple Macs have been in a similar niche. Sales figures of Apple hardware back then (and even now) for HP or Dell would have been disastrous.
Or take iPhone: With iPhones sales figures, other manufacturers went bankrupt and did drop the business. But again, their overhead was bigger and their target revenue couldn't be met, whereas Apple with its additional revenue (iTunes) and lower target settings has been more than fine.

Honestly, I'm a bit allergic, when some members aggressively and permanently rephrase, "Apple has sent a strong message and killed all the market potential" of such products. I'm pretty sure, those manufacturers have considered tablets and low cost products in their business model. And btw: It's not my company (neither Apple, nor the underdog), so why should I even care. But I recognise for some weeks now, that the undertone in some threads becomes more aggressive and in parallel the discussion less informed (not targeting at you, but some others of this very thread)...

Last edited by mgmueller; 02-26-2010 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:13 AM   #33
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I agree that people is reacting in a very negative way (me included) for products that before were considered "competitively" priced compared to the market's other offerings and that now are perceived as overpriced (QUE and E101 come to mind). Ignoring its price tag for a moment the QUE is exactly what I need for reading academic papers, nothing more nothing less, but even when I can afford one I could not convince myself to preorder it prior to Apple's announcement and far less now after yet another point of comparison like the iPad makes it look even more unreasonable (from the perspective of a potential buyer, that is).

The reason why the iRex 800 has been able to succeed is because currently there is no bigger touch-screen reader than its older, more expensive sibling (1000S). The only direct competitor for the DR800 is the PRS-900 (both in terms of price and features) and the former offers an extra inch (8" vs. 7") for the same price so there is an added value that justifies its purchase but that it might lose in the months ahead once all the other readers that I mentioned are released, offering similar features yet more screen estate and lower prices (like the DR950).

I am sure that the QUE was and still is very attractive for many potential buyers in this forum (me included) otherwise this thread would not be on its third page. I am sure it will sell at least more than the 1000S that apparently has been able to find a market despite its price. I just wish PL would do just like Apple has done and bring their quality products at affordable prices to the masses even if they have to cut some features here and there.

Again, I might sound like an Apple fanboy but even when Jobs plays dirty and has no mercy for its competitors (they basically put Amazon on the spot with publishers) I have to admit that because they are so aggressive with the competition I can enjoy a subsidized Droid for $150, an $800 Alienware gaming laptop (traditionally uber-expensive) and soon enough a $500 tablet that would have cost thousands of dollars a few years back. I agree that it is not fair for small companies, but it is because of Apple's dirty business that my next eReader will probably have twice the features for half the cost of what I would have had to pay a year ago!

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Old 02-27-2010, 02:53 AM   #34
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Lowering prices is not something you can call "dirty tricks". Dirty tricks are DRM, Sony's rootkits, HTML5 limitations, etc. But Apple has a right to put their things in the market at the price they feel right. The more competition the better.

Plus, I wouldn't imagine QUE competing with an iPad. The PL is much more a niche product than Apple's device anyways.

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Old 02-28-2010, 06:30 PM   #35
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I think PL have killed themselves and the Que by taking so long to release the product!
Damn! I have been hearing about the thing since 2008 and now,, 2 years later, still in Pre-Order!!
Come'on! you lost the competitive advantage that set you apart in the first place, and you gave competitors the chance to follow up, produce something much better and at a better price.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:40 AM   #36
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Lowering prices is not something you can call "dirty tricks". Dirty tricks are DRM, Sony's rootkits, HTML5 limitations, etc. But Apple has a right to put their things in the market at the price they feel right. The more competition the better.

Plus, I wouldn't imagine QUE competing with an iPad. The PL is much more a niche product than Apple's device anyways.
What I call dirty business is shocking the competition with a price that breaks the balance of the market; so far big readers, current and newly announced, were priced over $500 and that was considered fair for a black and white, reading only device. The iPad was long rumored to cost at least $899 (again tablets have been traditionally expensive). When they set a low price for a multi-use, big screen device it suddenly creates the illusion of value and makes the eReaders look incredibly expensive.

It is not a matter of rights, as the QUE has the right to survive and perhaps succeed when it enters the market, but what seemed a reasonable price now looks outrageous in terms of cost/benefit. Then again I am glad I am just a customer who will benefit from the inevitable price shift of dedicated eReaders, but I am sure that for companies like Plastic Logic Apple's move was dirty indeed.

What I wonder is how many of the businessmen (QUE's target) that take pride in their Macs or iPhones, or are just drawn by the coolness factor will be persuaded to get an iPad instead and save $150 worth of books (or ~15 bestsellers) use iWorks and enjoy some tunes while they are at it. I guess only time will tell!

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Old 03-01-2010, 05:39 AM   #37
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I don't understand how a pricing decision can be "dirty business": if the competition doesn't give added value to what the iPad can give, the competition will vanish. And if the iPad is something that the customers don't find anyhow worthy (or worthy enough to scratch their pockets), the price won't matter as it'll fail miserably. It's all a matter of perceived value. Value is subjective, indeed.

Why should Apple price their iPads in higher levels? . Apple aspires to be a market leader, not a follower, so it's logical that they want to win the initiative in pricing their products. (There are reasons why the prices should be higher, mainly because like every big business Apple externalises costs to the public, mainly the taxpayers, and their economies of scale are overvalued in reality, but that's another fully different topic)

What I understand as "dirty business" implies using the force of the state as to harass potential competitors or customers, as we see regularly with copyright and patents. Apple does its deal of it, too, but I don't see why their decision to price things as low as they want can be objected.

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Old 03-01-2010, 09:54 AM   #38
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What I call dirty business is shocking the competition with a price that breaks the balance of the market; so far big readers, current and newly announced, were priced over $500 and that was considered fair for a black and white, reading only device. The iPad was long rumored to cost at least $899 (again tablets have been traditionally expensive). When they set a low price for a multi-use, big screen device it suddenly creates the illusion of value and makes the eReaders look incredibly expensive.
I'm having a problem understanding what you seem to be referring to as "dirty business." Are you seriously trying to argue that Apple should have priced the iPad higher just to be "fair" to Plastic Logic because PL wanted to price the Que at $700? That's just ridiculous. If Apple were using that $50 billion they have in the bank to price the iPad at a loss just to run everyone else out of business, now that would be dirty business. So long as Apple is pricing the iPad at a profit-point (and there have been enough independent cost-to-build estimates since the iPad was announced to indicate that Apple is not just making a profit, but a hefty one, as in around 30%), that can hardly be described as "dirty business."

I have no idea what you mean by creating an "illusion of value;" it seems to me that if Apple is making a 30% profit on the iPad, the iPad is even now priced a little high, but it's going to sell like crazy even at that. Where's the illusion? The "illusion of value" lies more with the large ereaders: you think that because you're paying such a high price, you're getting something of value for your money, but what you're really doing is paying a ton of money for a device that can't do a tenth of what something like the iPad can do. It comes down, in the end, to whether having an e-ink screen is worth all that money to you. I expect that the number of people who are such die-hard e-ink fanatics that they absolutely must have e-ink over everything else will be pretty tiny compared to the number of people who will say that e-ink would be nice, but the entire device is so limited in capabilities compared with the less expensive iPad that the e-ink device just doesn't make any kind of financial sense unless money is just meaningless to you to begin with.

But still, none of that is Apple's fault: you seem to be suggesting that Apple should have said, "Oh, those poor guys over at Plastic Logic, their e-ink screens cost them so much that we really ought to just go ahead and price the iPad at $900 so they have a chance to sell their product."
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:26 PM   #39
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Before reading my replies there is something important that apparently was not obvious enough in my posts despite my explicit comments and that I want to emphasize: I, as a potential buyer, am glad that Apple did what they did in terms of pricing. That can only benefit us as consumers. When I criticize Apple's pricing of the iPad I do it from the perspective of an eReader manufacturer such as Plastic Logic or Amazon (which I am not, just for the record, lol). Ok, lets get started!

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I don't understand how a pricing decision can be "dirty business": if the competition doesn't give added value to what the iPad can give, the competition will vanish...
Why should Apple price their iPads in higher levels? Apple aspires to be a market leader, not a follower, so it's logical that they want to win the initiative in pricing their products...
I don't see why their decision to price things as low as they want can be objected.
When I use the adjective "dirty" I do it as of "unsporting, dirty, foul, or violating accepted standards or rules (i.e., a dirty fighter)". Precisely because Apple is crushing the accepted standards of pricing set by the market it is forcing its competitors, just as you say, to either match their offerings or perish

If you take the perspective of a manufacturer like Plastic Logic who probably took the Kindle Dx as reference for pricing (being their only potential competitor at the time) and you price your item at $650 it is still perceived as acceptable by the market standards. Now if three weeks after you make the announcement you find out that the iPad is being priced for half of what it was rumored you start feeling screwed by the big players! Again, I personally have no issue with that as a consumer (if you read my previous posts you can confirm this). However, from the manufacturer's perspective Apple's aggressive pricing was a dirty low blow.

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Are you seriously trying to argue that Apple should have priced the iPad higher just to be "fair" to Plastic Logic because PL wanted to price the Que at $700? That's just ridiculous...
Apple is not just making a profit, but a hefty one, as in around 30%), that can hardly be described as "dirty business."..
Where's the illusion? The "illusion of value" lies more with the large ereaders...paying a ton of money for a device that can't do a tenth of what something like the iPad can do...
But still, none of that is Apple's fault: you seem to be suggesting that Apple should have said, "Oh, those poor guys over at Plastic Logic, their e-ink screens cost them so much that we really ought to just go ahead and price the iPad at $900 so they have a chance to sell their product."
Hopefully you have read my reply above and realized that in not a single post I have suggested such a thing Problem is we are all usually so self-centered we fail to take the others' perspective, and that includes not only other individuals but manufacturers and business as well By the way if you read mgmueller's post #9 in this thread you will learn what I just did: that Apple might be taking home 5% for each iPad sold

When I say illusion of value I am referring to the fact that the iPad is a very appealing product when compared to dedicated eReaders (which is the topic of discussion) yet if you compare it to either netbooks (that Jobs criticized a lot during his keynote, yet can do more and are cheaper) or other Media tablets offerings such as Archos (who introduced today two $200, 7" and 8" models) or Notion Ink's Adam (with its amazing screen, and starting at $327) there is really no added value in buying an iPad (to make things worse they are just exporting the iPhone's OS instead of a sweet OS X version )

then again, my comments, that apparently are unsettling for some were made from the perspective of a manufacturer, and are different from what I feel personally as a consumer. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:18 PM   #40
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I'm having a problem understanding what you seem to be referring to as "dirty business." Are you seriously trying to argue that Apple should have priced the iPad higher just to be "fair" to Plastic Logic because PL wanted to price the Que at $700? That's just ridiculous. If Apple were using that $50 billion they have in the bank to price the iPad at a loss just to run everyone else out of business, now that would be dirty business. So long as Apple is pricing the iPad at a profit-point (and there have been enough independent cost-to-build estimates since the iPad was announced to indicate that Apple is not just making a profit, but a hefty one, as in around 30%), that can hardly be described as "dirty business."

I have no idea what you mean by creating an "illusion of value;" it seems to me that if Apple is making a 30% profit on the iPad, the iPad is even now priced a little high, but it's going to sell like crazy even at that. Where's the illusion? The "illusion of value" lies more with the large ereaders: you think that because you're paying such a high price, you're getting something of value for your money, but what you're really doing is paying a ton of money for a device that can't do a tenth of what something like the iPad can do. It comes down, in the end, to whether having an e-ink screen is worth all that money to you. I expect that the number of people who are such die-hard e-ink fanatics that they absolutely must have e-ink over everything else will be pretty tiny compared to the number of people who will say that e-ink would be nice, but the entire device is so limited in capabilities compared with the less expensive iPad that the e-ink device just doesn't make any kind of financial sense unless money is just meaningless to you to begin with.

But still, none of that is Apple's fault: you seem to be suggesting that Apple should have said, "Oh, those poor guys over at Plastic Logic, their e-ink screens cost them so much that we really ought to just go ahead and price the iPad at $900 so they have a chance to sell their product."
...just remember: 30% Gross Margin is not as hefty, as it may seem to outsiders. "Standard" hardware manufacturer's, with an initial Gross Margin of 30%, eventually will end up significantly below the 10% barrier.
I've seen quite a few balance sheets with figures >50% - and still those companies have been close to chapter eleven. Remember general costs >20% and remember tax and remember allocations for different plants/regions/profit centers...
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:59 PM   #41
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When I use the adjective "dirty" I do it as of "unsporting, dirty, foul, or violating accepted standards or rules (i.e., a dirty fighter)". Precisely because Apple is crushing the accepted standards of pricing set by the market it is forcing its competitors, just as you say, to either match their offerings or perish
Dude, it's a totally different product. The iPad is not an eReader. It's just a 10" iPod. You say later in your post that you didn't mean to say that Apple was being "unfair" to the competition, but in this paragraph above, this is precisely what you are saying. What on earth is an "acceptable market pricing standard"? We here in the U.S., where Apple is located, live under a capitalistic system with anti-trust rules that effectively mean there is no "standard market pricing." You price your product however you want, and if you can make a profit, good on ya. You are suggesting that because the Kindle DX2 is priced at $489 and the Que is priced a couple hundred dollars higher, Apple is somehow beholden to that price structure and should therefore have priced their product by some acceptable sliding scale that is fair to everyone, otherwise they are breaking some kind of unspoken "rule" about pricing a product like this and are thereby "playing dirty." What you are saying just doesn't make any sense at all in our market system. Maybe in a more regulated, price-controlled environment, that might be the case, but not over where Apple is based. The only thing that can get you in trouble here in the U.S. is predatory pricing, but if you can demonstrate that you are indeed selling your product at a profit, predatory pricing is pretty hard to prove.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:16 PM   #42
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For the screen size the price is okay.

I would like a skiff reader but they have this 'nerve ranking green light' on the left side. That's probably very annoying ...

Anyway, the comparison with a laptop is not possible. Have you read a lot of text on a tft monitor. After some hours you're eyes hurt and you really want to do something else. I'm really enjoying to sit at the lake in the sun and read a good book with my e-book reader.

Two things are not so good. The OS of the device is windows based and it doesn't have an sd card extension.
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:44 AM   #43
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If Plastic Logic would have release the QUE the exact same day as the iPad, at twice the cost, I would have bought it immediately.

It's that much better for my purposes. I plan to read 8.5" X 11" PDF technical manuals and textbooks with it.

I don't understand why the iPad is even considered in the same category by the educated people on this forum. It is not E-Ink. It is LCD. Basically a tablet PC with an Apple twist (sleek design, incredibly closed and limited use).

I really hope that PL didn't delay their product because of pricing. If it was buggy, fine, make sure you release a solid product. But don't run and hide from the iPad.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:54 AM   #44
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what i am hoping now with the Que is that they have had time to add some of the functions that weren't originally going to be available until the end of the year.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:15 PM   #45
feelfine
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Device: iliad book edition
I totally agree with granz. I have my Irex Iliad for which I have paid at least 500 Euro before few years ( I am not sure now, it was 500 or 600 Euro) and I was totally happy with it. Now I am looking for something bigger for my technical documents and I was willing to pay 700 Euro + 50 for a case for Irex DR until I read about some newer e-readers. Now I am a little undecided but it has nothing to do with the price. If a thing does what it has to do I am willing to pay more for it. And I am sure if Que or Skiff or whichever of those bigger e-readers will be good enough there would be enough buyers for those. A lot of my friends have argued with me as I bought my Irex Iliad that I could get much better deal with some netbook for 200 Euro. But I didn't need a netbook. I needed good e-reader and I got it.
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