I can report today that Interead the company behind the Cool-er e-reader has been put into liquidation. A petition was made to Liverpool District Court by PR Beam Agency in late March, with the motion granted by a judge on 8th June.
Interead launched a range of Coo-ler Readers in 2009 noted more for their colourful packaging than technical prowess. It also launched an e-book store, which it claimed was the "largest ebookstore in the world"—largely because it offered 1m public domain titles provided by Google.
There is no surprise here. I was always amazed that the Cool-er devices got any publicity at all. We had one in the office for a while and it was a pretty basic object once you got beyond the 'cool' exterior. As Martyn Daniels points out "their one trick pony was just a colour case".
I never heard the name mentioned in publishing circles, and they seemed to exist outside of the publishing eco-system. It's taken a whole month for news of its collapse to leak out.
Interead's founder Neil Jones made it into a few newspapers and on TV boasting that the company would be number two in the US and number one in the UK by, erm, about now. It was never going to happen, at least not with the device I saw.
It follows the reported collapse of Dutch e-book manufacturer iRex Technologies earlier this year, and we can expect others to follow, or at least a number of devices to fall of the market.
This is not necessarily bad news for publishers, or others wishing to get in on the expected growth in digital reading. The fewer companies who make promises they cannot deliver on, or raise expectations that cannot be matched, the better.