Txtr Beagle Has Been Discontinued
The German ebook company txtr has never had much luck with hardware.
Their first ereader, the aptly named and innovative txtr Reader, never overcame production and cost issues. It kept being delayed due to production issues and by the time it was ready in late 2010 its price ($400) kept it off the market.
And now it looks like the txtr beagle has suffered a similar fate.
There’s been no official announcement, but I have just learned that txtr has updated the product page for the beagle, their 5″ smartphone accessory. It has been officially labeled "ausverkauft". Depending on which translation you use that means that the device has either been discontinued or is out of stock. Given the general lack of market success I would bet that the beagle was retired as soon as the last of the remaining stock was sold.
Update: txtr has officially denied that the beagle has been discontinued. But given that it is not available anywhere I don’t see that there is a practical difference.
This device launched last October to a lot of fan fare but unfortunately never lived up to the hype. It was pitched as a 10 euro ereader, so naturally the price and its svelte size caught a lot of attention.
Unfortunately that price came with a couple catches. This device was only going to be available as a smartphone accessory, which means that you would probably only be able to get it with a new service contract. The beagle also came with a severe hardware limitation. It simply could not function as a stand alone device; it needed the txtr Android app to convert and transfer ebooks (more details here).
The beagle had a 5″ (600×800) screen, Bluetooth, a copious amount of storage and ran on a pair of AA batteries, but what set it apart was what the beagle lacked. It didn’t have a card slot, Wifi, or a USB port. These components were left out of the design in part to lower the cost but also to restrict how the beagle could be used.
This device was intended to be a smartphone accessory, so a lot of the excess components were deemed unnecessary. The beagle was supposed to be sold via telecoms, but so far as I now that never happened. Instead txtr ended up having to sell the beagle themselves. It retailed for 59 euros, or about 20 euros less than the Kindle.
I have been told that txtr never had much success in selling the beagle, and that by mid-July they had sold fewer than 100 units (seriously). That really comes as no surprise. By the time the beagle hit the market in April 2013 it was no longer the cheapest or the lightest ereader, so consumers didn’t buy it.
fjtorres September 2, 2013 um 12:16 pm
I’m reminded of the Sony eVilla.
A similar exercise in designing a product to answer a question nobody was asking.
In both cases the end result was a bit of crippleware that cost more than the fully functional alternative.
cookie September 2, 2013 um 2:19 pm
Now this is breaking news.
Johnny Pearseed September 3, 2013 um 8:20 am
This strikes me as an example of a product cooked up by a bunch of managers, without any input by potential users or indeed any knowledge of the world outside of management manuals. It’s almost satisfying to see it fail.
zeroguyr January 10, 2015 um 11:13 am
you idiot, why do you never understand that textr tried to make a e-reader under 20 $ unlike amazon or sony or google who wants to make you a slave of their product.
Fin de partie pour la Txtr Beagle, la liseuse à 10 € « gonvegredlong January 29, 2014 um 8:54 pm
[…] que pour quelques euros de plus, on trouvait des appareils très bien équipés. Selon le site The Digital Reader, Txtr n’avait pas réussi à écouler 100 unités sur son site à la […]
Rudolph November 9, 2014 um 10:06 am