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Old 06-08-2011, 01:36 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by sonyreaderfan View Post
Just wondering, how long as the newest line of prs X50 been in the market? Over a year? Less than a year? 6 months? When do Sony usually update their products? By not releasing update do you mean firmware updates? I don't have a Kindle 3 but I remember it being released in July 2010. How frequently has Kindle updated its firmware?
The 350 and 650 came out in early October 2010, and the 950 in November (I believe). As I understand it, they come out with new devices each autumn. Sony isn't known for firmware updates, but the x50's have had one this year.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:49 AM   #62
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Obviously Sony is more of a hardware company than a bookstore. Therefore they didn't really have the same position in the market as Amazon and B&N. People wouldn't buy a Sony reader because they were keen on buying books from Sony. Yet people will buy their readers from Amazon and B&N just because they buy most their paper books there as well.
If Sony can't sell their readers in the US because the market is dominated by cross subsidized readers then perhaps they should just abandon the US market and concentrate on more attractive markets.
Cross subsidized?

This bit of appoligism is commonly used to excuse Sony's lack of competitivness, but it's just SILLY.

Having seen pre-loaded disposable cell phones selling for $20 and NON-'subsidized' 7 inch Android tablets selling for as little $99, it's pretty hard to believe that either B&N, Amazon, or Kobo is losing money on their readers.

And if Sony ran their Reader Store better, they could have had the same 'cross subsidy' advantages as Amazon. They just blew it.
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:18 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by delphin View Post
Having seen pre-loaded disposable cell phones selling for $20 and NON-'subsidized' 7 inch Android tablets selling for as little $99, it's pretty hard to believe that either B&N, Amazon, or Kobo is losing money on their readers.
I, too, doubt that anyone is selling their readers at a loss.
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:30 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Leyor View Post
I think there's alot of apologism here. I know there's some kind of investment in a brand, and we don't really want to be the "loosers", but there's alot of signs and unless Sony is in the middle of the most ingenous market strategy, where neglect is some secret strategy, we can all see where this is going.
Citing "apologism" and "emotional investment" is a sort of ad hominen, or appeal to pity, fallacy. And your argument above makes no factually supported statements (there are "a lot of signs," but not one accurately cited).

So you can bet people like myself are replying. It's not about being afraid of "losing," but about fixing factually incorrect statements, and addressing improper cause-and-effect speculation.

For example, the thread's opening cited Sony's big loss, and immediately went on to imply (incorrectly) the Reader played a role in said loss, and then speculate that competition is destroying the Reader. There was no factual information offered whatsoever to establish cause and effect. And, indeed, facts go against some of the claims outright.

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Giving up the retail channels, discontinuing accessories and not releasing updates to their products does have the hallmarks of the end of a product line.

Sony had an incredibly lead on quality and technology, a lead that's being rapidly diminished by far cheaper readers.

The good news is, we all have a really good product thats up to date. Bad news is, it SEEMS to be going downhill from here.
Great example of basing a conclusion on incorrect information.

The PRS-650 was in shortage very quickly upon release. In December 2010, Sony sold out and said it would not be available until March. (I did not follow up if/when the shortage ended.) This thread speculates shortages are due to the late-May released Kobo and Nook, even though that's well after any shortages began. Even the comment I replied to said Sony could not keep them in stock online, failing to note that that the PRS-650 Red is in stock now.

The PRS-350 stock remains abundant, available at every online seller I checked: Sony, Target, Buy.com, Sears, Best Buy, Amazon Marketplace, etc. Heck Best Buy even has the PRS-350 for $119 online.

From my list above, which retail channels were given up? Target's not selling them in-store, but they still sell them. And Best Buy actually expanded their Reader sections.

All accessories, except one cover, are in stock on Sony's site. So which of these were discontinued? The update question was already answered (and that even ignores the PRS-500 hardware update last November).

So the reader "seems to be going down hill," but you base that conclusion on information that is entirely factually incorrect! As I said, a reply like this is not "apologism," it's correcting misinformation, and making sure people understand that predictions of the Sony Reader's demise are spawned from falsehoods.

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Old 06-08-2011, 07:21 AM   #65
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How about an Earthquake and Tsunami? Or massive sales in Japan and Asia, which are specifically attributed to the shortages.

http://sony.ereaderjournal.com/tag/ereader-sales/
I happen to have been watching Sony Readers' availability quite closely for years and years. So, let me tell you, the shortages have absolutely nothing to do with either earthquake or tsunami. Sony essentially stopped mass-shipping readers and covers in the midst of last year's X-mas season. The readers have been coming in somewhat sporadically, the stock of covers has never been replenished. Yes, you can still find a 350 or a 950 in Best Buy. They are being closed-out there. They have been closed-out in Borders (in fact, the 950 was never shipped to Borders stores, and both 350 and 650 were shipped only once, 650 not being available since winter). Taget? Walmart? Office Depot? Staples? You must be kidding me - none of these outlets ever had any stock of x50 readers to speak of. Some still sell 600 and 300, most have switched to kindle and nook. Even the staunchest online retailers, those who made the most money selling to the grey market resellers - Vanns, B&H, ABT - have long been listing the readers as discontinued.

The rumors about "Pearl display shortage" have been circulating since last fall, and they are patently untrue, judging by the mass market availability of kindles and now nooks.

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You don't seem to realize the Kobo sells a fraction of the Reader.
I don't have the sales numbers. Do you? I've seen people buying kobos at Borders. I happen to personally know a lot of people who own the Sony Readers, but kindles and nooks is what I see most often in public. In fact, kindle is quickly becoming synonymous with "ebook reader" in the U.S.

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Originally Posted by EatingPie View Post
Now, what "accountants at Sony" have decided this hit was a failure? Just because you've deemed it as such doesn't mean Sony did too.
I do not deem Sony Reader as a failure. Not from the engineering standpoint anyway. That is Sony who appears to have deemed the Reader as a failure, making it a scarce commodity in an important market.

Perhaps you could explain to me, where are the covers? Make something up that makes sense!
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:43 AM   #66
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The PRS-350 stock remains abundant, available at every online seller I checked: Sony, Target, Buy.com, Sears, Best Buy, Amazon Marketplace, etc. Heck Best Buy even has the PRS-350 for $119 online.

From my list above, which retail channels were given up? Target's not selling them in-store, but they still sell them. And Best Buy actually expanded their Reader sections.
In Best Buy the readers are on closeout. Both 350 and 950. I don't know what you mean buy "expanded", but Best Buy stores I've visited have single units left in stock and no covers (so, those readers are unlikely to sell - who would buy a reader without a cover). Amazon Marketplace is not a retail channel, and neither is for the most part Buy.com. These are general marketplaces similar to eBay. Yes, 350 has not experienced major shortages, such as 650 and 950. But 350 covers are now very hard to find as well.

The retail channel is tricky. You may have some stock in Alabama or Montana and no stock in New Jersey and Maryland. So one could argue that Sears and Best Buy still have readers in stock. But not around where I live. And they are not coming either.

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Originally Posted by EatingPie View Post
All accessories, except one cover, are in stock on Sony's site. So which of these were discontinued?
And which is the most required and important accessory? In fact, which accessory is absolutely necessary for the safety of a device such as an ebook reader? Are those covers so hard to produce? Were they being manufactured at a plant that was washed away by the tsunami?
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:49 AM   #67
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The rumors about "Pearl display shortage" have been circulating since last fall, and they are patently untrue, judging by the mass market availability of kindles and now nooks.
But that doesn't mean that SONY aren't experiencing a shortage of displays. Given the fact that screens have a single source of production, and that reader manufacturers probably have to bulk-order months in advance, it's certainly possible - likely, even - that Sony badly miscalculated the number of screens they'd require, which has resulted in a shortage for them.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:18 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by delphin View Post
Cross subsidized?

This bit of appoligism is commonly used to excuse Sony's lack of competitivness, but it's just SILLY.

Having seen pre-loaded disposable cell phones selling for $20 and NON-'subsidized' 7 inch Android tablets selling for as little $99, it's pretty hard to believe that either B&N, Amazon, or Kobo is losing money on their readers.

And if Sony ran their Reader Store better, they could have had the same 'cross subsidy' advantages as Amazon. They just blew it.

Saying they subsidize their ereader sales doesn't mean they are selling them at a loss. It means, that they are sellingthem at a MUCH smaller margin, and that they can afford to because of the subsidies provided by the e-book sales.

If their delivered cost is $100, then they can afford to sell them at $139, if they assume an average of $150 in book sales over the life span of the machine. If Sony's cost is $100, and they can NOT count on e-book sales to help subsidize, they can NOT afford to sell it at $139 and remain viable.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:06 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by S Livingston View Post
I think that the Kindle will be the dominant eReader on the market.
What market? Not the Dutch market, for sure. What most people seem to forget is that there is also a large market that doesn't read English, but a lot of other languages. And books in those languages are hard to get in the Kindle Store...

If Sony would stop making readers, I'm not sure we could get a pearl'd reader in Europe that can epub...
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:25 AM   #70
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Sony is said to be no. 3 in the US and no. 1 in Europe and Russia.

Why should they stop selling their readers, when they dominate the developping markets?

Also their readers have been constantly in stock at the US SonyWebStore since the end of April. So who can't buy their readers?

The next charge of supply is coming to the German SonyStore at the End of July. This is what I was told by their CS yesterday. Does that sound like a company stopping to manufacture them?
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:40 AM   #71
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I happen to have been watching Sony Readers' availability quite closely for years and years. So, let me tell you, the shortages have absolutely nothing to do with either earthquake or tsunami. Sony essentially stopped mass-shipping readers and covers in the midst of last year's X-mas season. The readers have been coming in somewhat sporadically, the stock of covers has never been replenished. Yes, you can still find a 350 or a 950 in Best Buy. They are being closed-out there. They have been closed-out in Borders (in fact, the 950 was never shipped to Borders stores, and both 350 and 650 were shipped only once, 650 not being available since winter). Taget? Walmart? Office Depot? Staples? You must be kidding me - none of these outlets ever had any stock of x50 readers to speak of. Some still sell 600 and 300, most have switched to kindle and nook. Even the staunchest online retailers, those who made the most money selling to the grey market resellers - Vanns, B&H, ABT - have long been listing the readers as discontinued.
The link I provided actually says why there are shortages. You should take a look at it. I offered up the Earthquake, since that was actual reasoning given for part of Sony's loss.

In terms of the stores I cited, please do a search. The only reader that cannot be easily had right now is the Black PRS-650. All the others are available on Sony's site, along with accessories. Similarly, my claims about Target, BB, etc. are all true. I forgot about Borders, but they filed for Bankruptcy.

We are both speculating. The Reader will be discontinued. The Reader will not be discontinued. The difference between us is that I am proceeding from verifiable factual information right now. Oh, and I have owned every generation of Reader, including the horrible PRS-600... so I think in terms of the "appealing to authority" fallacy, we are at an impasse.

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The rumors about "Pearl display shortage" have been circulating since last fall, and they are patently untrue, judging by the mass market availability of kindles and now nooks.
I did not cite Pearl display shortage. I referred to "Reader shortage" in response/reference to your unverified claim that "Sony stopped shipping models to retailers." The only shortage I'm aware of began in December 2010, and was primarily the PRS-650 Black model.

Right now, every reader but the Black PRS-650 is available at Sony Style, among other retailers I listed.

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I don't have the sales numbers. Do you? I've seen people buying kobos at Borders. I happen to personally know a lot of people who own the Sony Readers, but kindles and nooks is what I see most often in public. In fact, kindle is quickly becoming synonymous with "ebook reader" in the U.S.
You did not look at the link in my previous post?

As is very well known, Kindle does not release numbers. However, I agree that the Kindle is the de-facto best selling eReader on the market. It's actually becoming branded, as almost everyone calls my Reader a "Kindle," even though they know it's not an actual Kindle.

Any sales analysis I have seen from mid-and-late 2010 say that Nook is the #2 seller. One site had Sony at #4 behind some other unknown company, so I suspected they had some spurious results, but generally Sony is #3 in most speculations.

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I do not deem Sony Reader as a failure. Not from the engineering standpoint anyway. That is Sony who appears to have deemed the Reader as a failure, making it a scarce commodity in an important market.
I'll let others decide what you meant by "the impending demise of a great product that was in many regards a technology and innovation leader is rather sad and puzzling for me..."

And once again, Sony does not "appear to have deemed the Reader a failure." I still offer my previous examples are evidence.

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Perhaps you could explain to me, where are the covers? Make something up that makes sense!
Sure. The covers are on Sony's site. *shrug* Just do a search. The only cover that is sold out there is the PRS-650 "premium" without a light. I don't recommend that one anyway.

-Pie

Last edited by EatingPie; 06-08-2011 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Various corrections.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:46 AM   #72
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I think the key point on much of this discussion is that Sony appears to be pulling out of the USA market, or at least cutting way back. Sony might continue with the 350 (though I doubt it) and kill the 650 and 950 here in the USA. The 650 has always been difficult to find in stock and the 950 is obviously becoming very difficult to buy. Just because an online store lists them as being in stock doesn't mean they are. Best Buy often lists items you cannot consistently find in their local stores. Regardless, Sony is NOT going to have terrific sales figures without their readers being sold through local retail stores. If a consumer goes into a local retail store like Best Buy or Target or whatever and sees Kindles, Kobos, Nooks, iPads, a gillion cheap Android tablets listed as ereaders, etc., but no Sony, then the consumer is not likely to buy a Sony. How could they? Sony rarely advertises their readers, so how will the typical consumer even discover that Sony readers are an option in the USA market. To think that the typical American consumer is represented by this forum is pure fantasy. We here know about Sony readers, but the typical American consumer does not.

I do think Sony might concentrate now on other markets around the world where they do have a huge share of the market, but it looks as though Sony is pulling out of the USA market.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:52 AM   #73
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Or they just direct their momentary supply to maintain their superior position outside the USA to those markets and re-enter the US with the next generation.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:56 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by porkupan View Post
In Best Buy the readers are on closeout. Both 350 and 950. I don't know what you mean buy "expanded", but Best Buy stores I've visited have single units left in stock and no covers (so, those readers are unlikely to sell - who would buy a reader without a cover). Amazon Marketplace is not a retail channel, and neither is for the most part Buy.com. These are general marketplaces similar to eBay. Yes, 350 has not experienced major shortages, such as 650 and 950. But 350 covers are now very hard to find as well.
Expanded means larger floorspace than previously. The three Best Buys near me actually have devoted Reader "islands." If the 350 is on close out that would explain the low price on their site. But has BB stated they are on closeout? Or that they are stopping sales of the Reader? As of Sunday, the island at my nearest best buy was still populated.

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The retail channel is tricky. You may have some stock in Alabama or Montana and no stock in New Jersey and Maryland. So one could argue that Sears and Best Buy still have readers in stock. But not around where I live. And they are not coming either.
Which is why a web search would do you service. BB, for example, will even send to their stores if you purchase on their site.

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And which is the most required and important accessory? In fact, which accessory is absolutely necessary for the safety of a device such as an ebook reader? Are those covers so hard to produce? Were they being manufactured at a plant that was washed away by the tsunami?
I don't understand this. You continue to claim the covers aren't available, but they are right there on Sony's site. All but one in stock right now.

And just to be clear once again, I cited the tsunami in reference to Sony claiming it was due to their financial losses this year. It's not something I personally find tasteful to joke about.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=13662877

-Pie
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:07 AM   #75
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Device: Sony PRS-500 (RIP); PRS-600 (Good Riddance); PRS-505; PRS-650; PRS-350
Quote:
Originally Posted by jswinden View Post
I think the key point on much of this discussion is that Sony appears to be pulling out of the USA market, or at least cutting way back. Sony might continue with the 350 (though I doubt it) and kill the 650 and 950 here in the USA. The 650 has always been difficult to find in stock and the 950 is obviously becoming very difficult to buy. Just because an online store lists them as being in stock doesn't mean they are. Best Buy often lists items you cannot consistently find in their local stores. Regardless, Sony is NOT going to have terrific sales figures without their readers being sold through local retail stores. If a consumer goes into a local retail store like Best Buy or Target or whatever and sees Kindles, Kobos, Nooks, iPads, a gillion cheap Android tablets listed as ereaders, etc., but no Sony, then the consumer is not likely to buy a Sony. How could they? Sony rarely advertises their readers, so how will the typical consumer even discover that Sony readers are an option in the USA market. To think that the typical American consumer is represented by this forum is pure fantasy. We here know about Sony readers, but the typical American consumer does not.

I do think Sony might concentrate now on other markets around the world where they do have a huge share of the market, but it looks as though Sony is pulling out of the USA market.
Basically you say Sony is getting out of the US market, blow off all factual information, and then do not back up your claim with anything. Really?

Let me just address one thing: stock.

Sony, for example, lists stock accurately. If it's in stock, it's in stock. To say "just because it's in stock doesn't mean it's in stock" is wrong. Especially with modern inventory tracking. And I have never ever had an item from BB say "in stock" and be out of stock (that's why they have an "out of stock" indicator!). But you claim if it says in stock, it's not? You realize all five places I cited would then have to be wrong on stock indication? And this is how you support your claim that Sony is leaving the US market?

I am, honestly, surprised that nobody seems concerned with the actual market, and are happy to make predictions without any evidence. I mean, even something as easily verifiable as availability is just tossed to the wind. Why is this?

-Pie

Last edited by EatingPie; 06-08-2011 at 11:13 AM.
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