Thanks for the very detailed description.
It seems that this is definitely an "early adopter's" device. I had friends who bought the first calculator ($500-HP) and first CD player (~$1000-Sony), so I have a lot of familiarity with that pheonemon.
The device seems just good enough to appeal to that segment.
However, it seems clear from my reading of your description that the PRS-500 will not be sold in vast quantities. At best, it will be successful enough to allow second generation devices with the following characteristics:
- Much simpler operation (from your description, the PRS-500 sounds slightly more complicated and slightly less intuitive than an entry level Palm PDA - or a Rocket ebook. This is too complicated for mass acceptance - it has to be like a toaster or a TV.)
- Color screen for the higher end model of the second generation. (If this is going to display PDFs, then this is really a necessity for such documents. I'm not conversant enough with e-ink to know if this will be possible soon.)
- Under $100 for the lower end model of the second generation. ("Two figures" are necessary for mass acceptance and impluse buys.)
- Built-in light that works off the internal battery. (This seems totally obvious to me, and a strange omission - it seems that Sony were desperate for longest possible battery life - forgetting that people are used to plugging in their cell phones to charge. Not needing external light is a big advantage of electronic devices.)
- User-replaceable battery (Did no one learn anything from Apple's woes?)
PS The RSS excuse makes no sense to me. RSS feeds are automatically freely available to the public, hence the word "feed". My guess is that this was vetoed by some exec, and a compromise was worked out to include the crippled "pre-selected feeds" (an oxymoron if there ever was one). Perhaps the feature would overlap with some other Sony device currently being designed.
I tend to think that a "third generation" e-ink reader would have all the other hardware and software of a Nokia 770 (but with Wimax!), and thus accomodate someone who tends to read many shorter items, rather than long form "books"....
Last edited by Ken Stuart; 09-26-2006 at 03:14 AM.