New e-book reader to use AT&T

NEW YORK — Following in the footsteps of Inc.'s Kindle, another e-book reader is set to get a wireless connection from a cellular carrier, letting it access books anywhere there's a signal.

AT&T Inc. planned to announce today that it will support an electronic book reading device due early next year from Plastic Logic Ltd., a Mountain View, California-based startup based on British display technology.

It marks the second significant announcement of the week for Plastic Logic, which said Monday that Barnes & Noble Inc. will supply digital versions of books for its device.

With the AT&T and Barnes & Noble deals in place, Plastic Logic will be able to match functions of the Kindle, which uses Amazon's e-book store and a wireless connection provided by Sprint Nextel Corp.

But Plastic Logic's goals are quite different, according to Chief Executive Richard Archuleta. The device's screen will be nearly 8.5 by 11 inches, and its target market will be professionals who would want to display business documents in nearly full size. Reading novels would be a secondary application.

"If somebody is just looking to read a book, and that's all they're going to do, they probably don't need all the capabilities in our product," Archuleta said.

Like the Kindle, Plastic Logic uses an "electronic ink" display, which looks somewhat similar to regular paper and consumes very little power. However, it takes a relatively long time to switch between images, making navigation slow.

Newspaper subscriptions are available through the Kindle, and Archuleta said his company also is in discussions with "every major newspaper in the U.S." to get their content. USA Today and the Detroit Free Press, both owned by Gannett Co. are already partners with Plastic Logic.

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