Yesterday’s story about the MobiScribe ereader reminded me about a story I had been waiting a few weeks to see if it developed.
The ereader importer Icarus has apparently gone out of business. A reader discovered in mid-November (after the company stopped responding to their emails) that the Icarus site was down (Thanks, Chris!). I was still waiting for either confirmation from a source or something solid like bankruptcy paperwork (the financial details would have made this story so much more interesting) when another site reported the company was dead.
The Icarus website is down, and their FB page has been deleted, and there’s only a couple employees still listed on LinkedIn (neither responded to my messages). Liquavista was still showing more signs of life than this when I finally managed to confirm its demise in October, so there’s no reason to wait on Icarus.
Icarus, or to use the company name, DistiRead, started importing Chinese ereaders in 2010. The ereaders ranged in size from 6″ to 7.8″ and 8″. They were sold under the Icarus brand, but were sourced from small OEMs like Boyue (as well as several I was never able to identify).
Their hardware was of so-so quality and usually a little more expensive than the OEM version, but the local support in Europe did make up for it. This enabled Icarus to continue announcing ereaders right up until September 2018 (there’s no word on how many they sold, however).
It’s not clear what happened to the company, although it probably came down to poor sales. Despite what you may have read elsewhere, there was no sudden exodus of employees; most of the ex-employees listed on LinkedIn left years before the company shut down. (Of course, there’s no rule that you have to list former employers or even have a LinkedIn profile, so that doesn’t mean anything.)
One of the details I was waiting on was legal paperwork for the company pertaining to bankruptcy or reorganization. A friend in the Netherlands was unable to find any, but there’s always a chance it will be filed later.
If you know what happened, I am all ears.