Sony's eBook reader – the numbers are in

While Amazon remains deafeningly silent over how many Kindles it has sold – except to say that new orders won’t be fulfilled for the next eleven to thirteen weeks – Sony, its main competitor in the eBook reader space, isn’t being so shy.

Claiming to have exceeded the company’s own forecasts, Sony says it sold 300,000 units of its Sony Reader device since its October 2006 launch (WSJ). Interestingly, however, Forrester Research estimates that 400,000 Kindles have sold since its launch in November 2007, which, if true, means that Amazon has done considerably better in a much shorter amount of time, possibly due to better marketing — it’s hard to beat the Amazon brand and e-store when it comes to selling anything book-related.

Although both sets of numbers are nothing to be scoffed at, it doesn’t yet amount to an ‘iPod moment’, notes paidContent. Apple sold 1.3 million units of its music player in the first two years, even if it took considerably longer for the iPod to really go mainstream.

Talking of mainstream, last week my Dad requested a Sony Reader for Christmas after trying out a colleague’s. If that’s any indication, perhaps eBook readers could reach a tipping point sooner than we think?


last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

5 Responses to “Sony's eBook reader – the numbers are in”

  1. Dave Zatz says:

    I much prefer the look the Sony Reader (not the new touchscreen one), but the price is still too high and Amazon kills it with the wireless EVDO store to buy while mobile. Wish they’d produce an iPhone Kindle client, though the screen is smaller and too bright – not like eInk.

  2. Daniel says:

    I really hope ebook readers reach a tipping point. They just need to sell enough to start reaping the real benefits of economies of mass.

  3. Mari says:

    My mother has had one for a year and still loves it. But she’s an avid reader. Are there really enough of those for us to reach a tipping point?

  4. Steve O'Hear says:

    @ Mari

    My Dad’s reasoning was that he likes to buy a lot of ‘cheap’ fiction (mostly crime novels I think), along with more serious books, and doesn’t want/need to have hard copies of everything he buys junking up the house. But, yes, he is also an avid reader, so who knows.

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