Mobileread
Sony Portable Reader to be sold at Borders bookstores
#1  Bob Russell 04-03-2006, 04:28 PM
TeleRead.org is reporting that Sony will be selling it's new e-Reader device at about 200 Borders bookstores in the U.S. The stores seem almost ubiquitious through many areas, and it looks like an ideal way to work into a strong potential market. Every retail push of this sort is a win for not just Sony, but for e-book readers in general. And a convenient purchase location is likely to influence many of the e-book reader fans that are having trouble deciding between models.

Full details are available in the Sony press release.

Related reference: E-ink reader comparison matrix.
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#2  TaKir 04-03-2006, 05:11 PM
I haven't found this press release at sony's site ((

Can someone please give the direct link?
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#3  TadW 04-03-2006, 05:25 PM
Takir, just follow the Yahoo link - it's the official press release.

I think this is a great move by Sony. Let's go and make the e-book mainstream!
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#4  Liviu_5 04-03-2006, 05:29 PM
Hi,

Finally some good news on the eink reader front. I barely wait to see the reader in person. I have a Sony store close to my house, but lots of Borders stores that I visit quite often, so somewhere it should be available when released. Now with some good, fast and reliable conversion tools for common format files and it may get popular enough to catch on. Then it is possible we will see an explosion of digital books. Personally, I still believe that first will come the digitized ebooks from Google or Amazon or some other online company and then a popular reader, but hopefully I am wrong and the digital book revolution will start sooner.

Liviu
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#5  doctorow 04-03-2006, 05:44 PM
I read the press release and I must say that I am not impressed. Yes, it's positive that Sony plans to offer the Sony Reader in about half of all Borders stores nationwide. And yes, it's positive that Borders will offer prepaid cards to be used for buying e-books at the Sony CONNECT store.

Yet the original problem remains: the price of the e-book is too high to seriously compete with paperbooks. I am afraid that people from the street will glimpse at the Sony Reader, admire its fantastic screen, only to finish their shopping with a good old $8.99 paper book. As long as there isn't a compelling (financial) incentive for people less technology-minded than us, they won't switch. And a nice gadget demonstrated at a book store won't be enough to make the difference.
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#6  Snappy! 04-03-2006, 09:33 PM
Over at teleread, I was hoping that it will be more like ...

Consider this: By going retail, what if users start seeing “ePaperbacks” appearing as a plastic shrink box with a small booklet containing the Book summary, Author’s BIO and a MS (or SD) card? And as part of launch promotion, its priced slightly lower than normal paperbacks.

And how about having normal paperbacks come with a low-capacity MS card?

Maybe these MS card can be readonly cards or something?
----

Unless Sony can pull off a iPod pony trick on this one and convince the major publishers to adopt a $0.99 per book ... ok, maybe not that cheap, but say $4.99 per book? Bring your own MS stick and purchase your book for $4.99 or something. Or just buy one MS stick from borders if you forget to bring one. How about if Sony sold the books on 128mb or 64mb MS sticks?
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#7  Brian 04-03-2006, 11:40 PM
I agree that their prices are too high. The convenience just isn't worth the loss of fair-use (lending out your book, for one) and ability to sell (or donate) your books when you're done reading them.

Regardless of what you think of Sony, I think having the Sony Reader in a brick & mortar bookstore chain like Borders will be good news for e-books, but more importantly, E-Ink technology. Once readers see first-hand how good the E-Ink displays are, they'll want one for the readability and convenience. The pricing of titles in Sony's e-book ecosystem will be tough to swallow for all but the die-hard e-book enthusiasts with money to burn.

This could be good news for E-Ink as well as iRex and their distribution & content partners: Free advertising for the technology while learning from Sony. Based on iRex's relationships and testing with large newspapers combined with The New York Times starting to embrace new technology and the web, I'm hopeful that subscription models will help subsidize the hardware costs of the iRex Iliad. I also think this photo of the Iliad displaying the NYT is not a coincidence. The New York Times Company has quite an extensive network including TV & radio stations and 35 websites in addition to publishing The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe and 15 other daily newspapers. Using the iRex Iliad's wireless capabilities, it isn't too hard to imagine a personalized daily newspaper getting delivered automatically to your device every morning.

Sony might be first out of the gate in "E-Reading 2.0", but they won't have first-mover advantage when they haven't learned from their past mistakes which include overly restrictive DRM, BBeB which will be yet another failed proprietary format, and high prices.
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#8  TaKir 04-04-2006, 07:10 AM
Now found this prees-release it at Sony's site ))
http://news.sel.sony.com/pressrelease/6594
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#9  Laurens 04-04-2006, 08:07 AM
E-books prices are not coming down any time soon. (Not Sony's fault, as it's the publishers who set the prices.) At least they're trying to bring e-reading to the masses. People are focusing too much on the negative aspects. What about portability and convenience or downloading out-of-print or unavailable titles? These might all be compelling reasons for buying a reader. Time will tell.
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#10  Snappy! 04-04-2006, 08:24 AM
Quote Laurens
E-books prices are not coming down any time soon. (Not Sony's fault, as it's the publishers who set the prices.) At least they're trying to bring e-reading to the masses. People are focusing too much on the negative aspects. What about portability and convenience or downloading out-of-print or unavailable titles? These might all be compelling reasons for buying a reader. Time will tell.
Most agreed! I think out-of-print sales could really benefit from ebook technology since there is no store house or logistic of reprinting to mess with. The challenge I guess is that some of the out-of-print books may not have digital copies to start with. Maybe Google could be on to something with the digitization of all those books. They could then sell the service to content owners to repackage the digital copies as ebooks and have a ebook warehouse where users could search, buy and download.

It's not Sony's fault, but they could use its branding muscle to get a sell-in. Kinda like what Apple did to those music distro channels right? But the tricky part would be for Sony to come up with a magic number that both the ebook distros/publishers would bite and consumers would bite. Time to spin the Magic-8 ball.
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