View Full Version : Amazon Kindle may promote competition - Sony Reader not before end of year?

Alexander Turcic
09-13-2006, 05:28 PM
I received a note from Nick Hampshire ( of Afaics Research today about Amazon's rumored plan to launch their own e-book reader ( From the note:

It would appear that the Kindle is being made for Amazon by Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co. Ltd. of Taiwan (one of the largest manufacturers of barebones PCs), and judging by the specs we can expect this to be priced at a level that will probably undercut Sony’s new EBR-500 reader set for launch in the US at the end of this year.

The submission also outlined a proposed Kindle Store within Amazon that would allow Kindle owners to buy and download e-books. This is obviously aimed at being a direct competitor to the SonyCONNECT store.

Not surprisingly Amazon are silent upon the subject of the Kindle, but the arrival of an Amazon branded e- reader and associated store will inject a lot more competition into the marketplace, something that should be welcomed by readers and publishers alike.
I put off writing about this because I wasn't ready in my heart to accept it, but did you notice that Nick mentioned "end of this year" as the new launch date for the Sony Reader?

Totally unrelated: Some evil doers have defaced ( the Website of Afaics' sister Website Digital Publishing News (

09-13-2006, 06:27 PM
Where'd he get that model number? The new Sony Reader PRS-500. :happy2:

Wasn't EBR-500 the model for the prototype of the EBR-1000 (i.e. the Librié)?

While I don't mean to argue with Nick, and certainly meaning him no disrespect, I believe I'll stick with PC Mag's report of by the end of October. :shrug: I haven't seen anything to contradict it that isn't based on the assumption that "the holidays" means Christmas or New Year's. :beam:

Bob Russell
09-18-2006, 05:43 PM
My first impression was how incredibly ugly this thing must be. But the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that it's a bad picture of it. It's no doubt a bit clunky, but it might fit a niche for people that need an e-ink device with a keyboard, and not a touch screen.

On the other hand, for typical reading like a novel, it seems like the keyboard might be a little annoying.

I guess we won't know until someone holds it in their hands and let's us know what it's really like. The good thing is that every new device helps move e-ink readers forward, and the more they get into the mainstream, the better for all of us e-book fans.

09-19-2006, 02:30 PM
Bob, the ugliness is the first thing I saw too. I don't care how functional it is, it has to look good before I am going to buy it.

09-19-2006, 03:07 PM
Ugly? It's butt-ugly!

Kosst Amojan
09-19-2006, 04:03 PM
I prefer the term "Hideous"

09-19-2006, 04:44 PM
How about ghastly?

(This could be fun)

09-19-2006, 05:38 PM

09-19-2006, 09:59 PM
At the right price ... I can do with an ugly bride .... ;)

09-20-2006, 09:24 AM
Keep it going guys! They have to read us, that will make them change the case design.
It looks like an old office phone...

09-20-2006, 09:57 AM
I wouldn't want to be caught in bed with that! :D

09-20-2006, 10:00 AM
My grandmother's e-reader looked less retro!

09-20-2006, 10:47 AM
I wouldn't want to be caught in bed with that! :D

It won't matter unless you have frontlighting. :happy2:

09-20-2006, 11:49 AM
Can they actually launch it? I mean, this is patented technology, we are getting a authorised screen for Europe (the iLiad), some for China (where intelectual property is fuzzy bussiness), one for Japan (Librie) and one for the USA (again Sony). Did the people of Sony forgot to buy exclusivity for USA? Are amazon guys planning to sell it from a mail store company in Brasil or something so?

09-20-2006, 12:05 PM
I expect they're getting their displays from the same place Sony, HanLin and iRex are getting theirs, if that's what you mean ....

Ah, now I get what you're saying. I don't think Sony could buy 'exclusivity' if they wanted to -- we have anti-monopoly laws here in the U.S. :happy2: (and I don't mean the board game!)

Besides, the e-Ink corporation has to want as many buyers for the product as they can manage, so they'd certainly be unhappy if PVI started trying to sell monopolies.

09-20-2006, 01:10 PM
Besides, the e-Ink corporation has to want as many buyers for the product as they can manage, so they'd certainly be unhappy if PVI started trying to sell monopolies.

funny I was under the impression than eink was into the monopoly business; at some time I read about Phillips having the "rights for Europe" and then I generalised. I mean, patent law is about monopoly, isnt it?

09-20-2006, 01:26 PM
Good point, arivero. I don't know how that 'rights for Europe' works, perhaps it's a timed thing?

And you are quite correct that e-Ink controls the patent on, um, e-ink. And I suppose you could argue that Sony couldn't have a monopoly on e-readers, because of all the other e-readers (i.e. eBookwise, already out there.

And you're also correct that monopolies don't really apply to the discussion -- I was too quick in my post, and didn't think it out like I usually prefer to do, sorry. :sad:

Maybe Sony just isn't afraid of the competition. From the looks of the Kindle, I think I wouldn't be. :grin2:

09-20-2006, 02:18 PM
Who has the rights for LCD ?

10-03-2006, 02:12 PM
FYI, the FCC photo's are a prototype of the Kindle. The ugly finish and putty color is a function of the plastic used to prototype the product enclosure. This allows them to make minor changes in the shape up until the production run. The final product will look quite different from these photographs.

The main issue for me is incompatible DRM between Sony, Amazon, Panasonic et al. My paper library doesn't suffer from this problem. Committing to one ebook DRM system now means you cannot easily switch in the future. It's difficult to understand why the vendors will not promote a common DRM standard in the same way they did for DVD's. The chances of creating a proprietary iPod like system for ebooks is slim.

The comments about e-ink rights and patents don't make any sense to me. Why wouldn't PVI sell e-ink display components to all parties?