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Old 08-01-2010, 06:56 AM   #31
HarryT
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Agreed, even in the UK I'd say the Sony readers would be the most recognised by the average consumer, if you discount the general recent euphoria over the iPad.

Graham
Yes, I agree with you entirely, if for no other reason that the Sony Reader is the brand most widely available in shops - it's sold by Sony Stores, and also by Waterstones, who are by far the largest chain of booksellers in the UK.
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:28 AM   #32
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I pretty much agree, Sony just doesn't have the 'mindshare' that Amazon and Apple have. I don't know how many times i have been reading on my PRS300 in public and have been asked if that was a Kindle or even an iPad! People have no idea what these devices look like, but they know they exist.

eReading, in general, is thought of by the consumer as something he or she might want to do in the future, but the public isn't even curious enough at this point to actually find out what the devices look like.
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:31 AM   #33
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Yes, I agree with you entirely, if for no other reason that the Sony Reader is the brand most widely available in shops - it's sold by Sony Stores, and also by Waterstones, who are by far the largest chain of booksellers in the UK.
And it's also the reader you see in electronics stores and airports, and it's the reader promoted by WH Smiths, our biggest chain of stationers.

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Old 08-01-2010, 10:55 AM   #34
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In Canada, Sony operates SonyStyle retail stores and its e-readers, for practical purposes, are the only ones in the big box electronic stores. Sony showed up at book festivals in Toronto (and no doubt elsewhere) making a real effort to seed the market at least as far back as summer 2008 (or was that 2007?).

Kindles weren't sold to Canadian addresses until late Nov 2009. Sony took out full page colour ads in the "national" newspapers like The Globe and Mail in Dec 2009 (during the height of the selling season) singing the praises of Sony's e-readers (the PRS 50x, 30x and 60x have been sold here) right down to a line-by-line comparison chart. And then, they seem to have quit.

Kobo, sold and majority owned by Indigo book chain in Canada, launched on May 1, 2010 at $149 -- essentially half Sony's local price at the time; Kindle was still US$259 + shipping. Kobo's launch was a bit rocky: badly tested initial firmware and stock shortages. Kobo also took the step of distributing in Wal-mart. But still Sony did not respond. When Kindle dropped below $200, Sony reacted bringing the PRS 60x down from $299 to $249 and now $229 -- arguably at par with the Kindle 2 once US shipping is added.

And then Sony's e-book store implementation was bungled. You have to install software on your computer just to see the price of a title -- or to determine if the title is even sold in Canada. My impression is that the lion's share of commercial titles are NOT sold here. (Kobo took the other route: you can only see stuff sold locally. Amazon blocks viewing too but its not hard to see non-Canadian titles.) It's exasperating: the impression builds quickly that Sony isn't interested in selling e-books in Canada.

The long and the short of it is that Sony had a strong head start but didn't have the taste to pursue the market. You simply cannot sit on the sidelines in evolving consumer markets like home electronics and entertainment and expect to remain viable. This was Sony's game to lose ... and barring some extraordinary new developments, they have.
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:35 AM   #35
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I live in Australia and couldn't care less what's in the Sony Store - I can't buy from it. I find I get anything I want to read for it anyway straight from booksellers and publishers. It's quite a pleasure to not have to go through Amazon in particular.
My house has some Sony stuff but none of it was bought new. I even bought my Sony Reader PRS-500 second hand - and Sony exchanged it for a PRS-600 for me after I sent it for firmware upgrade for the second time. They've given me support one could never dream of getting from the likes of Amazon.
The only feature I would like is extended battery life - and it might be as easy as upgrading the battery myself, assuming lithium ion batteries are improving all the time!
I've not had remarkable service from Amazon, but a good number of Kindle owners have raved about its service, including Amazon offering free replacement Kindles even when customers broke theirs in falls and such. That's without them having extended warranties.

I've owned a good number of Sony products, some of which quickly failed. I find its products to be hit and miss, much declined from the brand's glory days of quality. I also found Sony's e-book experience to be a PIA, and returned one of its readers. With Kindle, I didn't have to contact Amazon; it works painlessly. Ditto for the Kindle app on PC and iDevices. The Amazon user experience is built for the user's convenience, unlike Sony's, it seems to me.

I'm not loyal to companies. Whichever serves me best gets my money, and if another comes along and does it better, I'll switch. For now, Amazon is earning my money far better than Sony.
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:16 PM   #36
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Some Target stores in the US are now carrying Kindles. They also have Sony Readers and have had for quite some time. In my local store they're on different aisles. Actually the Kindle is on an endcap with a big display so it seems Amazon was willing to pay for premium placement. I've never seen anyone playing with the Sony models. Not there or even at my local Fry's which carries Sony and Astak.

I see ads on the TV all the time for Kindle and it has front page on Amazon. That's hard to compete with. The nook seems to stand a better chance against them in the e-ink world since at least they have the BN store presence. When I read blogs like Gizmodo and Engadget, the comments for any ebook article pretty much always talk about Kindle, iPad and nook. I rarely see anyone mention a Sony. When I do, it's usually a diehard 505 fan, not someone who has purchased a current Sony reader.

Sony can tout their hardware all they like but it doesn't change the fact that they have a substandard feature set compared to the rest. And if they don't start catching up and putting some effort into marketing, they're spitting into the wind.
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:58 PM   #37
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Some Target stores in the US are now carrying Kindles. They also have Sony Readers and have had for quite some time. In my local store they're on different aisles. Actually the Kindle is on an endcap with a big display so it seems Amazon was willing to pay for premium placement. I've never seen anyone playing with the Sony models. Not there or even at my local Fry's which carries Sony and Astak.

I see ads on the TV all the time for Kindle and it has front page on Amazon. That's hard to compete with. The nook seems to stand a better chance against them in the e-ink world since at least they have the BN store presence. When I read blogs like Gizmodo and Engadget, the comments for any ebook article pretty much always talk about Kindle, iPad and nook. I rarely see anyone mention a Sony. When I do, it's usually a diehard 505 fan, not someone who has purchased a current Sony reader.

Sony can tout their hardware all they like but it doesn't change the fact that they have a substandard feature set compared to the rest. And if they don't start catching up and putting some effort into marketing, they're spitting into the wind.
Amazon, B&N and even late comer Apple (4 million iPads) have already beaten Sony out of the market they have just not realized it yet
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:23 PM   #38
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...but the public isn't even curious enough at this point to actually find out what the devices look like.
I'm guessing that American folks who enjoy reading are indeed curious. I also suspect that you are indeed correct when you say that the public isn't curious, because the public doesn't read many books.

I remember seeing a survey about 2000 which showed the relationship between computer ownership and being a fan of the various auto racing series. Nascar came up zero. Their fans didn't own computers.

I suspect the same is true today with eBook readers. I'm guessing that a large percentage of the American public will never buy one because the device won't pay for itself, they read so little.
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:40 PM   #39
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Sorry but for me SONY readers SUCK BIG TIME because they put in their product website that the reader is good to be used EVEN IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT, and my prs-300 gets completely unusable in direct sunlight (it washes up).

THis happened to a lot of SONY USERS, for YEARS, and at first sony did look to another side, when one tried to get the reader exchanged for one with a GOOD screen.

I even stored the chat with the sony representative washing his/ hers hands.

SO sony SUCKS ... EVEN TODAY ... just search this forum for "washed screen" instances ...

Regards,

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Old 08-01-2010, 05:56 PM   #40
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I have NEVER had a problem with a fading screen in sunlight. It's just the opposite, it is nice & sharp & clear.

Just yesterday I sat on a bench in bright sunshine reading my Touch with a nice clear screen.
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:14 PM   #41
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I'm guessing that American folks who enjoy reading are indeed curious. I also suspect that you are indeed correct when you say that the public isn't curious, because the public doesn't read many books.

I remember seeing a survey about 2000 which showed the relationship between computer ownership and being a fan of the various auto racing series. Nascar came up zero. Their fans didn't own computers.

I suspect the same is true today with eBook readers. I'm guessing that a large percentage of the American public will never buy one because the device won't pay for itself, they read so little.
Presently 10% of our bread winners don't even have a job. A lot of the rest of are just trying to get by, put food on the table, and pay the bills (me included). So yes, just about everyone I know, of all ages, know about ebooks, Kindles, Nooks, and iPads, they just can't make that purchase right now. There are others that can afford a $500-800 ipad, but I can assure you that they are not in the majority.
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:24 PM   #42
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There are also lucky owners of sony readers...

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I have NEVER had a problem with a fading screen in sunlight. It's just the opposite, it is nice & sharp & clear.

Just yesterday I sat on a bench in bright sunshine reading my Touch with a nice clear screen.
cfrizz: you are lucky !
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:50 PM   #43
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I have NEVER had a problem with a fading screen in sunlight. It's just the opposite, it is nice & sharp & clear.

Just yesterday I sat on a bench in bright sunshine reading my Touch with a nice clear screen.
I discovered the same: with direct sunlight, the contrast is unbelievable! Can be compared to a paper print.
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:58 PM   #44
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I remember seeing a survey about 2000 which showed the relationship between computer ownership and being a fan of the various auto racing series. Nascar came up zero. Their fans didn't own computers.
Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure the survey determined the percentage of fans of each series who followed that series on the internet. The result was that zero Nascar fans followed that series on the internet.
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:09 PM   #45
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Sorry but for me SONY readers SUCK BIG TIME because they put in their product website that the reader is good to be used EVEN IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT, and my prs-300 gets completely unusable in direct sunlight (it washes up).

THis happened to a lot of SONY USERS, for YEARS, and at first sony did look to another side, when one tried to get the reader exchanged for one with a GOOD screen.

I even stored the chat with the sony representative washing his/ hers hands.

SO sony SUCKS ... EVEN TODAY ... just search this forum for "washed screen" instances ...

Regards,

Sigmax
Wow. I guess when in doubt, go for volume. My Sony 505 never had a problem in the sunlight. I was in Cuba for a week with blisteringly hot temps and sunshine. No fade. Used it in California in the summer. No fade. Use it here in Canada all year. No Fade. Sorry 'bout your luck, but MY Sony certainly does not SUCK.
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