Sony E-Book Readers Have Kindle In Crosshairs - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Mobile // Mobile Devices

Sony E-Book Readers Have Kindle In Crosshairs

Sony's latest e-book readers won't steal much market share from the Amazon Kindle, but Sony has more to come, say analysts.

Sony's new electronic readers are unlikely to narrow Amazon's lead in the e-book market, but analysts believe Soney is just getting started.

Sony E-Reader
(click image for 3 large pix)
Sony's Reader

Sony on Wednesday introduced the Reader Pocket and Touch editions, which are scheduled to go on sale at the end of the month. The Pocket Edition will have a five-inch diagonal display, and the Touch Edition, which will have a touch-sensitive screen for navigating through books, will sport a six-inch screen that's the same size as the current Sony Reader.

While the devices do not introduce any game-changing features, they are an indication of Sony's strategy in competing against Amazon's Kindle, which is the device to beat in today's evolving e-book market.

First, Sony is competing with Amazon on price; the Pocket Edition will sell for $199, which is $100 less than Amazon's lowest-priced Kindle. Also, Sony's tactic of releasing two devices at once, while dropping the price of its current model to $280 from $300, is an indication that the company is pursuing a multi-gadget strategy with a variety of prices and features to appeal to as many consumers as possible.

"There's a lot more to come from Sony," Michael McGuire, analyst for Gartner, told InformationWeek

The Sony devices' lack of a wireless connection is a major disadvantage, Carl Howe, analyst for the Yankee Group said. All of Sony's products to date require a Windows PC or Mac to organize and download e-books from Sony's online store. The Kindle, on the other hand, has a wireless connection that comes free with the device, allowing consumers to easily buy books from Amazon.

"Connectivity is one of the biggest and most essential features," Howe said. "Connected devices are far more interesting (to the consumer) than disconnected devices."

With the latest devices, Sony chose not to add wireless connectivity in order to keep the price down, and also to make the readers more attractive to the education and government markets, Howe said. Neither like wireless connections for security reasons.

Sony, however, is sure to introduce a reader with a wireless connection in the near future. "These are not the last e-book readers from Sony," Howe said. "Stay tuned."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
10 Ways to Transition Traditional IT Talent to Cloud Talent
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  11/23/2020
What Comes Next for the COVID-19 Computing Consortium
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/24/2020
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
Flash Poll