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On e-Reader Tech News we track down the latest e-Reader news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great e-reader tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest devices and accessories.

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January 2018
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I’ve just received my Sony PRS-600 Touch Edition

My Sony Reader Touch  Edition just came in by UPS. I’ve already unpacked it and currently wait for the device to charge. I’ll post the comparison review soon…

sony-reader-prs-600-touch-edition

Sony Reader PRS-600 Touch Edition

Best Buy Will Sell Sony Reader, iRex

800px-Best_Buy_Logo.svgHere’s some bad news for Amazon and the KindleBest Buy is planning on selling the iRex and Sony Reader in their stores.  Now not only will customers be able to see the eReaders physically on display, but many people will just come upon them out of happenstance.

This blog has made the point before that Amazon should sell the Kindle in more places.  Best Buy is the perfect kind of place to sell eReaders to people who would normally not even think about them.  Best Buy, after all, is not generally thought of as a destination for tech-savvy people.  Their bread and butter customer is someone who comes in wanting a computer/tv/etc, but doesn’t know a lot about it.  Now with the iRex and Sony Reader, people who would never normally be early adopters will hold the devices and have a sales rep walk them through the features.  I wouldn’t be surprised if eReaders become a big holiday gift this year, even among those with no interest in gadgets.

According to the article, the iRex’s wireless will also be entirely paid for in the cost of the device.  But, in a followup to Andry’s comments, it turns out that the iRex will not include web browsing functionality.  So when they say the cost of wireless is included, they really mean the cost of downloading books that you are already paying for.

E-book industry in one picture

If you are new to eBook industry and would like to catch up on all of the relationships between different Amazon Kindle and other different devices and companies in the e-Book universe. This picture created by techflash.com is just the right thing for you. There is also PDF version available that has every arrow linking a related story on techflash.com. You can download it by clicking on the picture below. It will really be worth your time.

eBook Universe by techflash.com

eBook Universe by techflash.com

I guess this picture really is worth a thousand words… Great work, TechFlash!

Sony Reader Touch/Pocket vs. Kindle

Sony Reader Touch

Sony Reader Touch

Sony’s latest competition against the Kindle are the  Sony Reader Touch and Sony Reader Pocket.  Here’s a quick roundup of various reviews of these new products from around the net.

  • Gizmodo – Glare ruins the Reader Touch, Pocket is short on features but cheap price.
  • ZDNet – The Reader Touch works great, glare isn’t much of an issue.
  • CNET – Reader Touch get 3 out of 5.  Better to get Kindle at this price.
  • CNET – Reader Pocket gets 3.5 out of 5.  Good deal for the price.
  • Financial Times – Touch screen more natural to use than Kindle controls, but misses wireless.  Reviewer likes free Kindle iPhone app over Reader Pocket.
  • Mobile Tech Review – Reader Touch has caught up with Amazon and may even get some Kindle defectors.
  • iReaderReview – Reader Touch gets 7.75 out of 10.  Doesn’t quite beat the Kindle but Sony is getting really close.
  • iReaderReview – Reader Pocket vs. similarly priced Kindle 2 refurb.  Pocket is better for basic reading, but Kindle 2 has better additional features.

Will ePub be the Death of the Kindle?

One of the recent major developments in the eReader market is Sony’s announcement that they will be fully adopting the ePub standard.  Sony plans to completely abandon their own, proprietary format in what seems to be a concerted effort to dethrone the Kindle.  Selling books in ePub won’t necessarily help the Sony Reader, but it will open the store to owners of, say, the COOL-ER Reader.  Likewise, Sony Reader owners would realize that other ePub stores, such as Google Books, would be just as compatible with their device.

Some analysts think that this is the best way to pull Amazon from the top of the eReader market.  If the market is filled with similar devices that all buy materials from the same, varied selection of online stores, Amazon stands out as the only company with such tight restrictions.  There won’t necessarily be another device that leads the market in the way the Kindle has, but other companies will be free to compete without automatically riding Amazon’s coattails.  Past controversies surrounding the Kindle would make it seem even more unfavorable compared to the less restrictive ePub readers.

If widespread adaption of ePub does kill the Kindle, it would lead to an interesting eBook market.  Consumers would all pick a device based off of personal preference/budget.  After that, shopping for a book would be like the digital equivalent of today’s brick and mortar stores.  If you want a specific book, you would shop around between various large and independent bookstores.

Of course, the Kindle wouldn’t really be killed.  Amazon would simply make it another ePub reader.  It could be killed, however, in the sense that it would no longer have the distinction that sets it apart from other readers.

Let’s have a small poll about Kindle DRM restrictions. Feel free to respond in the comments as well.

New Sony Readers

Sony is releasing two new Sony Readers this month.  Both are essentially variations on Sony’s present eReader: the Reader Pocket Edition and the Reader Touch Edition.

For the most part the new devices are what you expect from the Sony Reader.  There’s no wireless and the storage is small, but you can use an SD Card or Memory Stick.  The devices are meant for use with the Sony bookstore (now lowering prices to match Amazon), but they are more open than the Kindle and support the ePub format.

The Reader Touch is the same size and price as a Kindle 2, but trades in the wireless capabilities for a touchscreen.  Touch gestures are used for turning pages, writing on a virtual keyboard, and navigation.  For a customer choosing between the Reader Touch and a Kindle, it would basically amount to how much they wanted the touch screen.

The Reader Pocket has, I think, a much higher potential to steal away Kindle customers.  The screen is only 5 inches, but Sony has priced the device at a competitive $199.  Filling the niche of a budget, entry-level reader, the Reader Pocket could definitely reach at to those who haven’t yet considered buying an eReader.

Here are how the devices stack up to the Kindle:

Kindle 2 Reader Pocket Reader Touch
Display Size 6 inches 5 inches 6 inches
Wireless 3G/Whispernet No No
Touch Screen No No Yes
ePub No Yes Yes
Price $299 $199 $299

Sony has lost the battle of the e-book

sony readerThe Sony Reader is a worthy opponent to the Kindle, however Sony has made some fundamental mistakes which will ultimately mean it will lose the battle for the e-book.

Sony’s chief executive, Sir Howard Stringer, noticed how Apple integrated is software and hardware to create a better customer experience, he added that Sony wants to make it as easy as possible to download or stream music, films and electronic data to all Sony electronic devices, from the PlayStation 3 to the Bravia Televisions. Sir Howard Stringer wants 90% of Sony devices to by wirelessly networked within 2 years.

However, Sir Howard Stringer vision seems to have fallen on deaf ears in the Sony Reader division. The Sony PRS-500 Reader had a commanding lead in the e-reader industry, but last November the Kindle was unveiled by Amazon. Amazon had done exactly what Sir Howard Stringer wanted to do with the Sony Reader, the Kindle was wirelessly networked to the Amazon book store, the hardware and software acting as one. Most importantly however, it made it easy for the consumer to buy books, something the Sony Reader never really achieved with its reader.

Back in 2006 when the Sony Reader was launched, Sir Howard wanted to let world know that this is sort of device that the new Sony wanted to make: both innovative and well-connected, but it was Amazon that showed them how it was really done.

Book selling is at the core of Amazon’s business, this is another advantage that Amazon has over Sony, it can leverage publishers to release books on its platform before any other, that’s something Sony would find very difficult to do. There are currently over 145,000 titles in the Kindle bookstore, the Sony bookstore has 45,000, that’s another area where Sony falls short.

The Kindle also offers so much more than the Sony Reader, daily newspapers, blogs, RSS subscriptions all without the need for a PC, with hacks you can even turn the Kindle into an email reader, an instant messenger and a web browser. You can buy a book any time and anywhere as long as you have a wireless connection, you cant do that on the Sony Reader.

Sony has consistently declined to release sales figures, which just might tell you something. Whilst Amazon hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with sales figures wither, we have learned that in its first 10 months the Kindle has sold over 240,000 devices, which isn’t a figure to be ashamed of, in-fact it blew most analyst estimates out of the water. To put it in context, the iPod first-year sales came to 360,000 devices, the Kindle is on course to match that figure.

Sony is now playing catchup, Sony’s Steve Haber has said that Sony is “open” to the idea of making the Reader a wireless device, but if you ask me, it may already be too late for them. Unless Sony’s next e-book reader is radically different to the current model and offers the same functionallity of the Kindle, im afriad its goodbye Sony Reader.

Kindle Photo of the Day #9: Amazon vs Sony

kindle photo of the day 9

Photo by benackerman.

If you have an image that you would like to submit for Kindle Photo of the Day then please get in touch! you can send the image via email to email address – please make sure you include your name and a link to your site.