People are naturally interested in finding out very specific details of the first Sony Reader, the PRS-500, which will affect their own use of the device.
So, I decided to start a new thread about the long-term implications that can be separate from all the discussions about refresh rates and cover colors.
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 the new detailed descriptions 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 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"....