Posts Tagged ‘Sony Reader’

Why Sony is embracing the 'open' ePub eBook standard (Hint: Amazon)

I’ve argued before that with regards to eBooks and the Kindle, Amazon doesn’t view itself as a hardware company. Unlike the iTunes ecosystem designed to shift more iPods and iPhones, for Amazon it’s actually about selling digital content — the eBooks themselves — as demonstrated by the release of the iPhone ‘Kindle’ eBook reader and the company’s work-around to keep Apple away from any iPhone-generated eBook revenue.

The Kindle hardware exists to kick start and accelerate the uptake of eBooks, and as well as creating Kindle reader software for other mobile platforms, similar to what the company has already done on the iPhone, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Amazon one day license its Kindle platform to competing hardware eBook readers. As I said, it’s clearly about shifting content, and to achieve this, owning the eBook ‘standard’ and therefore default store.

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Google helps add 500,000 public domain eBooks to Sony Reader store

Not sure if this is such a big deal but owners of Sony’s Reader – which includes my dad – can now access over half a million public domain books via the company’s eBook store, courtesy of a new partnership with Google Book Search.

Titles include an “extensive list of traditional favorites”, according to the joint press release, such as “The Awakening,” “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” and “Black Beauty”, along with Jane Austin’s “Sense and Sensibility” and “Emma.”

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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?