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Old 03-09-2008, 03:47 PM   #31
Alisa
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Exactly! And because of that, comparing the number of Kindle e-books sold to the number Sony store e-books sold just isn't all that meaningful to the discussion of which device is doing better.
I think it becomes more meaningful over time. If the majority of the profit is in the content rather than the hardware, then a device like Sony's could be abandoned despite its popularity if folks aren't buying their content through them.
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Old 03-09-2008, 03:53 PM   #32
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I can definitely vouch for the Kindle having a different demographic.

I thought reading devices sucked and didn't know about e-ink until I went to amazon.com one day looking for a hard-to-find book. Lo and behold, there on the front page was the Kindle.

My initial reaction was "oh my goodness this is the most awesome thing ever" and had I been American I probably would've bought one on the spot.

The funny thing is that I am very much a techie who usually researches everything, and that was my experience. For non-techies, I'm sure they discover the Kindle and that's the end of the story.

Out of curiosity, does the Sony advertise anywhere besides their website in the US? Most people look at Sony hardware in stores and don't visit their site ever, so the Kindle definitely has a huge advantage in that department.
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Old 03-09-2008, 04:03 PM   #33
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I've seen Sony ads but not often. I came across it for the first time at Fry's Electronics. I think it's a great advantage for them that they actually have physical units in stores that you can play with. If the comments on places like Engadget and Gizmodo are any indication, I don't think most people really get the e-ink thing until they experience it.
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Old 03-09-2008, 05:21 PM   #34
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Which is why I am still on the fence as to which reader to buy, even though I like the Sony's design (and price) better (the Whispernet and keyboard on the Kindle mean little to me).
Yeah, I don't particularly care about the keyboard (which is the worst defined feature on the device IMO) or the Whispernet (it's nice getting the papers and such, but I'd be okay just being able to connect it to the computer as well.)

But they have a good store and it's getting better all the time. But as you said... Sony has started and stopped so many services over the years, I don't have any faith in them not leaving me in the cold.

Sure, Amazon COULD do that... but right now it certainly doesn't appear that way. Sony is still barely updating their store and their software is pathetic (which shows you there what kind of priority they have for actually making the device succeed.)
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:00 PM   #35
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I've been wondering if they've internally conceded defeat and are just putting the minimal effort in to get whatever bit of revenue they can. They certainly could add a lot more value with a few key firmware and store features but I'm not seeing that kind of investment in the future from them right now.
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:44 AM   #36
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I've been wondering if they've internally conceded defeat and are just putting the minimal effort in to get whatever bit of revenue they can. They certainly could add a lot more value with a few key firmware and store features but I'm not seeing that kind of investment in the future from them right now.
Don't tell me I am going to have my Sony Mini Disc experience all over again...

I guess that is why I try to avoid DRM'd content from Sony, for books or music.
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:59 AM   #37
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At least with your Sony Reader, you will still have plenty of other content options even if Sony no longer supports it. As long as it runs, you can still get other books. The sucky bit would be Sony content after the Reader stopped working. Hopefully if it's end-of-lifed, someone will crack their DRM so people can transfer stuff later to other devices. I hope they keep going, though. I want to see lots of competition.
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Old 03-10-2008, 04:15 AM   #38
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Agreed. The more competition the better. Consumer-wise.
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Old 03-10-2008, 06:31 AM   #39
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I wish they kept on running.

However, I do not feel very optimistic. As many people said, reader/books is such a tiny part of Sony that I do not see why would they bother to compete with such giant as Amazon, whose primary product are books.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:35 AM   #40
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:43 PM   #41
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I think it becomes more meaningful over time. If the majority of the profit is in the content rather than the hardware, then a device like Sony's could be abandoned despite its popularity if folks aren't buying their content through them.
That's a good point. I suppose it depends on what Sony's view of the Reader/eBookStore relationship is, they keep saying that the store is there to support the Reader, not vice versa, but we have to decide how much we believe that. Personally, I think it's more than half true, but I wouldn't want to commit any more than that.


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I've been wondering if [Sony has] internally conceded defeat and are just putting the minimal effort in to get whatever bit of revenue they can. They certainly could add a lot more value with a few key firmware and store features but I'm not seeing that kind of investment in the future from them right now.
I know they got moved from one division to another recently, that may account for some of the apparent "fuzziness" in their Reader activity.
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Old 03-12-2008, 02:33 AM   #42
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I'm new here, but if you don't mind, I'll add my two cents worth. I am a voracious reader (kinda goes with the territory--I'm a librarian). While I read anything that's handy, I am one of those readers mentioned in this thread who also reads genre fiction--SF/Fantasy, and mysteries, mostly. But on the other hand, I also love gadgets and for years I looked into getting an eBook reader but never quite found one that grabbed me enough to buy. Then I heard about eInk technology. Now THAT grabbed me and I was all set to buy the Sony reader as soon as it became available.

And then Sony itself turned me off to its reader. I emailed the Sony store five times trying to get info on price, the earliest date I could place an order, etc. etc....and got absolutely no reply. Crappy customer service is no way to sell your product.

So I waited, and I'm glad I did. I have a Kindle on order. Lots of info around about the Kindle--Amazon knows the importance of marketing. Lots of content available, too. And here again Sony shoots itself in the foot, just as they did with their old Betamax machines: great machine, but a competitor does a superior job rounding up content and rights. Amazon actually answers emails...what a concept: customer service.

The Kindle holds more books. Yes, I am one of those people who like to have their "comfort" books (those they re-read frequently) available when the yen strikes. Not only that, but I think ergonomically, its wedge shape is superior. Yes, it is a bit larger that the Sony, but will fit more comfortable in one's hand.

And that wireless access is a huge selling point. Near instantaneous access to what you want. Computers didn't hit the home market until I was in college, so I'm not one who was raised with them as a fixture of life--but I have certainly been spoiled by them! I like instantaneous.
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:15 AM   #43
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I didn't think the wireless delivery would be such a big deal to me when I ordered the Kindle, but it really is huge. Now that I've experienced it, I realize that this changes the game. I'm a geek. I'm very comfortable with the process of downloading and transferring content but having it just show up is brilliant! If I was a bit less techie, it would be even more attractive. I went for the Kindle for the greater variety of content and the features I felt were necessary to improve reading beyond the paper book (search, dictionary). I thought it was a bit of a step up just looking at these sorts of bullet points, but putting it all together as an experience I saw that it was something really rather special. I hope you enjoy it and welcome to Mobileread!
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:30 AM   #44
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I hope you enjoy it and welcome to Mobileread!
Thanks for the welcome. I can hardly wait to get my hands on mine. I am already buying content & downloading free stuff for it. Have a ton of stuff all ready for it so I can hit the ground running, so to speak.

And, yes, the wireless connectivity is what will really sell it.
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:11 AM   #45
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And then Sony itself turned me off to its reader. I emailed the Sony store five times trying to get info on price, the earliest date I could place an order, etc. etc....and got absolutely no reply. Crappy customer service is no way to sell your product.

So I waited, and I'm glad I did. I have a Kindle on order. Lots of info around about the Kindle--Amazon knows the importance of marketing.

Have you emailed amazon before they actually announced and started to sell Kindle with the same type of questions?
I bet you didn't because if you did you would have gotten exactly the same response as you got from Sony.
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