Originally Posted by Poppaea
The US are more or less done ereaderwise, but the rest of the world is not.
So, why should they cater to the whims of the Americans?
Well, all we need here is a little dose of America bashing.
Of course Sony should snub the U.S., go straight to the markets where people appreciate what's good for them? Europe! Russia! Japan! Brazil!
I don't believe there is any real statistics about the U.S., European and Russian ebook reader markets. At some point 5 years ago Sony was number one throughout the world. That's a fact because the competition didn't exist yet. Perhaps it is still number 3 in the U.S., but I highly doubt it. With their recent availability problems that is. Among the e-Ink manufactures they may be number 4 (behind Kindle, nook and Kobo), and if we count iOS and Android devices (phones and tablets) - number 6. I suspect they are quickly losing positions to Kindle in the U.K., Germany and Eastern Europe (a lot of people appreciate free 3G). Amazon has become a global player, with its cheap prices, worldwide shipping and no-hassle customer service. In Russia Sony have long lost the number one position to Pocketbook (although the x50 were quite popular there while they could be found). China has its own many clone-makers.
Yes, there are markets to be had, especially where pirated or public domain content is widely available, so "biosphere" (store integration) doesn't play a big role. However, who is to say that in a couple of years those too will not be overflowing with cheap Chinese clones running Android and therefore capable of reading all popular ebook formats?
I happen to believe that with the high tech gadgets how America goes, so goes the world. The people who can afford Sony Readers will probably try to get the hottest U.S. gadget. Be it iPad, iPhone or Kindle. So, if Sony is not in the U.S., it might as well go back into its tight Japanese niche.
I think at some point Sony's bosses used to understand this. Must've been the reason the Digital Reading Division was set up in California, and not in Germany...