Franklin Electronic Publishers Releases eBookMan(R) To Developer Community SDK and 'Pre-Release' Device Now Available

For Development of Application Software



    BURLINGTON, N.J., Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ --
 Franklin Electronic Publishers, Inc. (NYSE:   FEP) today announced that the
 EBM-911-504, a special developer edition of the Company's eBookMan(R) reader
 and multimedia content player, is now available at www.franklin.com/devzone .
 Franklin made its Software Developers' Kit (SDK) for eBookMan publicly
 available to developers on November 13, although the SDK has been used by
 selected partners of Franklin since early summer.  The release of these
 special developer units is intended to make third-party applications for
 eBookMan available before full retail launch, scheduled for the first calendar
 quarter of 2001.
     "Frankin is gratified by the enthusiastic interest of the developer
 community in eBookMan," said Barry J. Lipsky, President and CEO.  "To date
 thousands of developers have already registered for Franklin's free SDK,
 allowing them to create applications for the eBookMan series.  We are
 especially pleased to now be making this special edition eBookMan available
 immediately for sale to certified developers.  The special developers' version
 features 16MB of RAM in a limited edition cabinet specifically designed for
 the developer community", Lipsky added.
     Franklin's robust SDK features portions of the GNU toolkit (GCC 2.95.2
 compiler, Insight/GDB debugger and simulator).  Franklin's SDK currently
 supports RedHat Linux 6.1, and Windows 98/NT/2000 (using the CYGWIN package)
 environments.  The proprietary CPU for the eBookMan platform is a 32-bit
 fully-custom 24 MHz RISC processor with numerous on-chip peripherals including
 MMU, USB device and host mode interfaces and support for real time speech
 decompression.  Benchmarking indicates that Franklin's CPU can operate at
 significantly higher speeds than those used in today's most popular handheld
 devices.
     "The eBookMan is the kind of platform that developers have been waiting
 for to launch publications, games, and other applications into the handheld
 world," said Dr. Peter N. Yianilos, architect of the eBookMan and Franklin's
 Chief Architecture and Technology Advisor.  "This is an exciting time; it is
 the birth of a major new platform -- the first modern open architecture to
 bring a feature-full media and application experience within just about
 anyone's budget.  The developers we have communicated with already understand
 this clearly and are just as excited as we are."
     While security may be an issue with other platforms, Franklin's
 "open-but-secure" architecture  enables developers to protect their
 applications and content against copying and tampering with Franklin's patent
 pending digital rights management (DRM) system based on cryptographic
 protocols.  eBookMan won the inaugural eBook Technology Award at the Frankfurt
 Book Fair in October.  The award winning eBookMan is the world's first
 platform that provides protection of publisher and developer rights yet still
 allows open application development by third parties.
     The eBookMan device, an e-book reader and multimedia content player, also
 supports PDA functionality common to typical handhelds.  Franklin will be
 launching three retail versions of eBookMan beginning at a suggested retail of
 $129.95 with 8MB of memory.  All three eBookMan models have a large 240 x 200
 pixel LCD that displays 87 percent more pixels than today's most popular
 handhelds.  Each model provides consumers with a vehicle to download thousands
 of electronic books, audio books from audible.com , and music.  eBookMan lets
 users synchronize their personal information from Microsoft(R) Outlook(R),
 record and play voice memos, and write notes easily with natural handwriting
 recognition.
     Information about how to purchase developer units and Franklin's SDK is
 available at www.franklin.com/devzone .
 
     Background
     Franklin Electronic Publishers, Inc. is the worldwide market leader in
 handheld electronic books, including the popular BOOKMAN(R) series.  The
 Company is also the exclusive producer and distributor of ROLODEX(R)
 Electronics brand of personal information management products.  Franklin has
 sold more than 24,000,000 electronic books and currently publishes more than
 200 titles, including dictionaries and bilingual dictionaries; encyclopedias;
 Bibles; entertainment titles; education and tutorial publications; and medical
 reference works.  Franklin products, available in 16 languages, are sold in
 45,000 retail outlets worldwide, through catalogs and online at
 http://www.franklin.com .  The Company has sales and distribution subsidiaries
 in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Benelux countries, Canada,
 Australia and Mexico, and production management offices in Tokyo and
 Hong Kong.
 
     ROLODEX(R) is a registered trademark of Berol Corporation, a subsidiary of
 Newell Rubbermaid Inc.
     Microsoft and Outlook are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft
 Corp.
 
     Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters
 discussed throughout this release, including, but not limited to, those that
 are stated as Franklin's belief or expectation or preceded by the word
 "should" are forward looking statements that involve risks to and
 uncertainties in Franklin's business, including, among other things, the
 timely availability and acceptance of new electronic books and organizers,
 changes in technology, the impact of competitive electronic products, the
 management of inventories, Franklin's dependence on third party component
 suppliers and manufacturers, including those that provide Franklin-specific
 parts, and other risks and uncertainties that may be detailed from time to
 time in Franklin's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
 

SOURCE Franklin Electronic Publishers, Inc.

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