When the Sony Digital Book Reader arm of the consumer electronics giant announced the introduction of three new digital book readers to their stable, nestled in there was the yet to be released Daily the flagship of their Edition range, the companies first attempt at a truly portable eBook reader.
It has taken them a couple of years to get their act together but at long last Sony Corp have realized the potential, and the massive market, of the wireless reading device. The soon to be released Daily, a wireless model that slots into their Edition range as the flagship model,should hit the stores in early December and retail about $100 more than the Kindle 2 at approximately $399. Saying that, don’t be surprise to see it come in at a figure closer to the Kindle’s $299, given what’s been going on recently and the fact that price would have been decided on when the Kindle was retailing for $349.
It will utilize the AT&T 3G wireless network to connect to the online Sony-eBook-store and other comparable book-shops to download magazines, newspapers, electronic books and other printed media. This will be similar to the Kindle that uses the Sprint wireless network but unlike the Kindle the Daily will support file formats such as ePub, which is used by many online or e-libraries for electronic versions of popular titles they lend out, that will allow you to read not only eBooks they sell. This sends out the message, to buyers of these digital book readers, saying yes they would like them to buy from the Sony-eBook-store but if they choose to buy elsewhere then that’s fine and the Sony Digital Book Reader will allow them to do that. controlled digital lending This openness is a far cry from past attitudes where companies have tried to tie purchasers of their models to having to buy their books too.
A big part of the Kindle’s appeal has always been the ability to ‘buy on the fly’. In my eyes, it seems to me Sony have finally realized that to get on terms with Kindle sales they have to offer a comparable numbers of titles, so readers have a real choice. It was probably impractical to extend their own offering to anywhere near the reported 350k titles Amazon hold in digital format so they have achieved this by firstly including the most popular file format for eBook freebies, the Adobe PDF, and then allowing downloads from many of the independent booksellers like Powells.com and Waterstones.co.uk. Just with the inclusion of PDF support they have enabled readers access to Google Library’s 1M plus free titles..neat eh.
With the release of the Touch Screen, Wireless Daily Edition along with their other Edition models, the Reader and the Touch, they have covered all bases and got themselves right back in the game. Sony have extended their potential customer base. Yes Kindle do offer a touch screen enabled, wireless model with a large screen, the clumsy, desktop calculator like DX, but this retails well above the expected Daily price and supports far less file formats. It seems the DX will be confined to a business application only, namely 1:1 A4 document, plan or drawing reading, in the very near future.
Another handy feature on this Sony digital book reader is the ability to access, wirelessly, the nascent electronic book services at your local library. With a library card, you can tap in your Zip code with the touch screen keyboard and this Portable eBook Reader will connect you to your chosen branch. At the time of writing, there are no plans by Sony to charge directly for their wireless service or any definite list on exactly which newspapers or periodicals will be available to download. Nor will users be able to access the web like they can with both the Kindle models or change text to speech, which if you have heard the results of that on a Kindle is no great loss.
What the release of this Sony digital book reader does to the digital book readers market is to be seen, but it will at last give the Kindle some stiff competition in the portable eBook reader sector, which they have dominated for so long. As they say; watch this space.