Ebooks: Sony Readers Updated, but are Still Doomed

Posted by Zealot on Sep 01, 2010

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500x_sonyereaderthreeeeConsidering that just about every ebook reader out there has been getting shiny new updated models released of late, Sony could not stand pat with its Sony Reader line. They have refreshed all three of their Readers, the Pocket, Touch and Daily. All three now feature touchscreens with Pearl technology, the new generation of E-ink found in the newest Kindles.

This will improve the page turning speed and the readability of all three, which is important since in previous generations of the Touch many complained that the touch sensitive layer made the text a bit muddy.

Sony has also made the devices a good deal lighter and slimmer then the previous models, down to around half a pound each and a third of an inch thick. More readable text and lighter weight…sounds like they are following the same route as Amazon with the new Kindle, focusing on the the strengths of ereaders rather than trying to make them more tablet-like.

There is one key area however where Sony did NOT follow Amazon, and that will make all the difference…Price. The Sony Pocket Reader is retailing for $179 and the Touch Reader for $229. Sure they have touch screens which the Kindle and Nook do not, but they also lack any kind of wireless. I cannot see them improving their somewhat bleak sales picture by being undersold by the market leader by over $50.

The Daily has a larger screen and WiFi along with the touch screen, but at $299 costs more than double the Kindle and Nook…which seems to me an epic fail.

On the one hand I admire Sony for sticking to it’s “Quality Costs More” guns, but I can also acknowledge that they are going to get blown away in the market by cheaper, better known devices like the Kindle and the Nook. Sony Readers are very attractive, well made devices with some great technology, but they are already at a disadvantage library wise, and I must admit that their high prices may be the nail in the sales coffin for the Sony Reader. If Sony does not have a good holiday season with these devices, I would not be surprised if they are not still on the market this time next year.

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Zealot (839 Posts) - Website | Twitter | Facebook


By day a department manager and writer for a major network device vendor...by night Zealot stalks the mean magnetic streets, striking fear into the hearts of bandwidth abusers and theme park mascots. Zealot has been involved with mobile devices for more than a decade now, starting off with dumb phones, moving to PDAs and then to smartphones, notebooks and netbooks with the odd PMP thrown in. Most of his mobile time currently is spent on a Treo Pro, Zune HD, Thinkpad T61, HP Mini 311, iPod Touch 3G, iPad 16G or a Hackintoshed Compaq Mini 704. He proudly groks the Geek community and considers himself a Neo Maxi Zune Dweebie (thanks Wil Wheaton!).

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  • http://twitter.com/mobilitysite/status/22711947054 mobilitysite

    Posted: Ebooks: Sony Readers Updated, but are Still Doomed http://bit.ly/bQvg1z

  • cgavula

    The other interesting note that you did not mention is that Sony also announced its intentions to realease iOS and Android versions of it's reader app. On one hand it's great to see them trying to grow the overall availability, but I'm not sure that it really buys them anything.

  • http://twitter.com/brandonsteili/status/22713133937 Brandon Steili

    RT @mobilitysite: Posted: Ebooks: Sony Readers Updated, but are Still Doomed http://bit.ly/bQvg1z

  • http://twitter.com/e_reading/status/22714085785 e_reading

    Ebooks: Sony Readers Updated, but are Still Doomed | Mobility Site http://bit.ly/bAbNJ6

  • http://twitter.com/joaanelee/status/22715076073 Joaane

    Ebooks: Sony Readers Updated, but are Still Doomed: Considering that just about every ebook reader out there… http://tinyurl.com/32q6azl

  • cgavula

    The other interesting note that you did not mention is that Sony also announced its intentions to realease iOS and Android versions of it's reader app. On one hand it's great to see them trying to grow the overall availability, but I'm not sure that it really buys them anything.

  • Twofoot_jim

    I have the Sony touch and wouldn't have anything else. I have a library of about 700 pdf's and adding more. I can download from my laptop to a sd card and its there. Not all people live for wifi. The pdf reflow is great. Sure there are a few things I would change. But for myself I would love to see a Microsoft reader with Sony's multi format read and with Windows mobile. Luv to be able to do spreadsheets, letters and even programming.

  • Twofoot_jim

    I have the Sony touch and wouldn't have anything else. I have a library of about 700 pdf's and adding more. I can download from my laptop to a sd card and its there. Not all people live for wifi. The pdf reflow is great. Sure there are a few things I would change. But for myself I would love to see a Microsoft reader with Sony's multi format read and with Windows mobile. Luv to be able to do spreadsheets, letters and even programming.

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