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Franklin Electronic Publishing, Davidson make Math Blaster.

Mount Holly, N.J.--Davidson & Associates and Franklin Electronic Publishing are bringing portability to Davidson's popular Math Blaster software program. The agreement is described by Franklin as "a move into more specialized areas of education."

MathBlaster will be produced as a cartridge for Franklin's new Bookman product, a handheld electronic book with a built-in database. The program, which uses games and graphics to teach the fundamentals of math to elementary school students, is virtually ubiquitous due in part to heavy bundling in many desktop PC software packages.

Franklin, which has been publishing electronic books since 1987, introduced the Bookman to retail channels in 1994. The Bookman line, which consists of a pocket model, a desktop model and a desktop model with audio, ranges in price from $59.95 to $149.95.

Other current titles in the Bookman cartridge catalog include the Merriam-Webster Advanced Dictionary, Total Baseball Encyclopedia, Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, Betry Crocker's Cookbook and HarperCollins' Spanish/English Dictionary. The cartridges, which range in price from $9.95 to $89.95, are designed to be offered at reference book prices.

"As silicon prices continue to drop, Bookman electronic books will be cheaper than printed reference books in three years or so, said Morton David, chairman and chief executive of Franklin. "At that point, the mass market will open up for Franklin, and consumers will enjoy the superior functions and fast information retrieval offered by electronic books."

In January, Intuit Inc., publisher of the top-selling Quicken personal finance software program, also signed on with Franklin to produce a Bookman version of Quicken. It is expected to be available at retail in late 1995 with a price point below $130.

Franklin expects to publish more than 100 Bookman titles by mid-1986.

Aligning with Davidson is a logical step for any company attempting to target the educational market. The Torrance, Cal.- based company is a leading publisher of educational and entertainment for both the consumer and school markets. Other Davidson titles include Cool Tools for Cool Kids, a print art utility package, as well as several adult lifestyle products.

"We're excited about this new market segment for Davidson products, and especially for Math Blaster," said Davidson chairman and chief executive, Bob Davidson. "Handheld electronic books such as Franklin's Bookman are a great way to let today's students have fun learning math both inside and outside the classroom. "

The Math Blaster Cartridge for Bookman is expected too ship by the end of this years. Price is yet to be determined.
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Title Annotation:Davidson and Associates, Math Blaster software program
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Mar 27, 1995
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