Sony offers new generation of lighter e-readers
Wednesday 01 September 2010
Sony, hoping to spur sales ahead of the holiday shopping season, has slimmed down its electronic readers and also given them touchscreen control.
The three new versions of its "Reader" line also feature an improved screen with better clarity, the manufacturer said on Wednesday.
Sony was first to the market with its Reader in 2006 but has struggled to keep up with rival Amazon.com Inc, whose Kindle e-reader is the top-selling device of its kind, according to analysts. Amazon does not disclose sales data.
In July, Amazon undercut competitors by offering a $139 wireless Kindle. The crowded e-reader market also includes traditional bookseller Barnes & Noble and electronics giant Apple, whose fast-selling iPad device has e-reader functions.
Steve Haber, president of Sony's digital reading unit, said the touchscreen was one of the top requests made by consumers, who are willing to pay more for extra functionality.
"Lowering prices to get cheaper and cheaper - that's not our direction," Haber said in an interview. "Our plan is not to race to the bottom."
Haber said the company expected to sell more of its lower-cost pocket version last holiday season, but sales of its higher-priced touchscreen version outsold the cheaper one.
"People stepped up and spent another $100 to buy touch," he said.
Sony cut the prices of its last generation of Readers in July. Prices on the new versions are lower than their predecessors when first launched.
The new pocket version Reader retails for about $179. Sony's larger 6-inch screen version, which allows for extra memory, costs $229. Users of these two devices must plug in to a computer when it comes time to download content.
Both are available immediately.
Sony is also offering a $299.99 "Daily Edition," which, like the Kindle, is wireless. It has 3G and a larger screen. The Daily Edition rolls out in November.
Haber said overall sales of its readers are growing at three or four times last year's levels.
"We haven't seen any change in momentum," he said.
Sony said it is also offering dictionaries in its new Readers and has been adding titles to its e-book store.
It plans to include reader reviews through an integration with social network site GoodReads, and will launch applications later in the year to interface with Apple's iPhone and Android-based smartphones from Google Inc.
Life & Style blogs
Charlie Charlie Challenge: how to banish the demon from your Facebook and Twitter news feed
World first as scientists use cold sore virus to attack cancer cells
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
'Paracetamol Challenge': Police and teachers issue warning to parents over social media craze
Cholesterol U-turn as research shows fatty foods might not be bad for us after all
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
- 1 I was raped by another man. And now the Government wants to take away the one thing that saved my life
- 2 UK's biggest male rape charity Survivors UK has state funding slashed to zero despite 120% rise in men reporting sexual violence and seeking help
- 3 Ricky Gervais jokes about 'battering Danish DJ to death with a bicycle pump' after rabbit killed
- 4 Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'
- 5 England 'favourites' to host 2018 World Cup following Fifa arrests
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£30 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL) i...
£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive is needed to join one...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Software Engineer i...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...