Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sony E-Book Reader Trifecta

Since Sony announced their foray into the Amazon cornered e-book niche market, they've been figured to be the one to push the behemoth from the top of the mountain--and it looks like they're on their way to actually doing it.

Sony introduces a third e-reader!

Sony called a press conference today to announce something connected to their e-readers: The Touch and The Pocket. We thought we had most of it covered already until they unleashed a THIRD e-reader to put the nail in the Kindle's coffin: The Reader Daily Edition.
The Reader Daily Edition gives consumers wireless access via AT&T's 3G mobile broadband network to Sony's eBook store from just about anywhere in the U.S. Book lovers will be able to browse, purchase and download books as well as select newspapers and magazines when and where they want. There are no monthly fees or transaction charges for the basic wireless connectivity and users still have the option to side load personal documents or content from other compatible sites via USB.

How much would you pay for free e-books?

And it doesn't end there, besides the e-books best sellers getting a big cut, Sony is also introducing The Library Finder: free access to a local libraries e-books. Yes folks, free e-books.
Today also marks the launch of Sony's Library Finder application. Sony, working with OverDrive (, the leading global digital distributor of eBooks and to libraries, will now offer visitors to the eBook Store by Sony easy access to their local library's collection of eBooks. Thousands of libraries in the OverDrive network offer eBooks optimized for the Sony Reader, and visitors can now find these libraries by typing their zip code into the Library Finder. Through the selected library's download website, visitors can check out eBooks with a valid library card, download them to a PC and transfer to their Reader. At the end of the library's lending period, eBooks simply expire, so there are never any late fees.
According to Gizmodo, there's a catch:
There aren't an unlimited number of ebooks—each library has an actual "stock" of ebooks (because the library had to pay for each copy). So, if they have a stock of 5 books, and they're all checked out, you have to wait in a queue for somebody else's book to expire when they hit the 21-day mark (when they automatically expire). When it's available, you get an email, and then you can check it out.
21 days of waiting for that e-book you've always wanted to read but can't, or won't, buy is good enough in my book!

I think our doubts from the earlier posts seem to be unfounded and most likely Sony will carve itself a niche in the e-book market. Most likely a lot of disgruntled and curious Amazon Kindle readers will try out the cheaper (and free!) features that Sony has to offer. It wasn't so long ago that the Kindle was one of the forerunners of the e-book revolution, now it looks so expensive, bloated, and restrictive. It seems Sony has taken the mantle off of Amazon this time.

Source for Sony Virtual e-Library
Picture of Sony E-Readers

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