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Old 08-09-2009, 03:43 PM   #1
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CNN Story about Sony's "latest salvo" into eReader Wars

Looked for this but may have missed it... if this is a duplicate thread, feel free to close this one.

I just found the following article on CNN Money about the new Sony readers coming out:

Sony fires latest salvo in e-reader war

Here is an excerpt:
Quote:
In what is fast shaping up to be a war in the e-reader marketplace, Sony (SNE) has launched the latest salvo, a sub-$300 touch-screen “Reader Touch Edition” and the $199 “Reader Pocket Edition,” which features a 5-inch display. The company is also lowering prices of ebooks. New releases and best-sellers will all be $9.99, matching Amazon’s (AMZN) price point for the first time.

In addition to lowering prices, adding a touch-screen and trimming form factor, Sony is also attempting to differentiate itself by opening the ebook market place. It offers free access to the 1 million public-domain books digitized through the Google Books Project, and ebooks purchased at Sony’s store, which use the standard EPUB format, can be shared on any combination of six PCs and e-reader devices. Owners of the Sony devices can download ebooks in the library for 21 days.
I'm not sure if I understand this... does this mean that Sony is going to start offering EPUB formats which can be shared with other non-Sony readers? This would be a huge advantage over the current Kindle strategy. If it is true, I would think that Amazon would be in a position of perhaps opening their Kindle books as well to non-Kindle owners.

Or am I misinterpreting this?

Other interesting quotes:

Quote:
Unlike Kindle, the Sony devices, available later this month, will sell at many retail outlets, including Best Buy, Costco, Target, and Wal-Mart.
Quote:
Haber says the company has been working on a wireless device and plans to announce availability soon. The Christmas selling season would seem a safe bet. “We will be sharing more things later this month and more later in this year,” he says. “We’re breaking a brand new price zone with a pocket-size reader. It’s a really wonderful experience. It will introduce ebooks and epaper to a whole new audience. But this is the beginning. This is not the whole story.”

Last edited by purl4peace; 08-09-2009 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:55 PM   #2
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Hmm, that last quote does imply a lot!

And that about the 6 PC's/Devices, it sounds like the mobipocket way of allowing several devices...

Quote:
Owners of the Sony devices can download ebooks in the library for 21 days.
But this one I don't get...
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
Hmm, that last quote does imply a lot!

And that about the 6 PC's/Devices, it sounds like the mobipocket way of allowing several devices...

Quote:
Owners of the Sony devices can download ebooks in the library for 21 days.
But this one I don't get...
You can borrow eBooks from the library if the library has Overdrive eBooks. You can get PDF and maybe ePub. My local library supports Mobipocket, ePub, and PDF.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:12 PM   #4
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It’s ironic that Sony would play open-standards champion, given its rich history of proprietary technologies (Betamax, Memory Stick, etc.), but Steve Haber, president of Sony’s Digital Reading Division, says the company is committed to openness as a way to hasten the move from paper to digital.


“A year and a half ago, when we mentioned ebooks, people would say, ‘That’s not going to happen.’ But it’s a very hot category right now and it can grow tremendously,” he says. “Our plan is for a ubiquitous content for consumers. It’s not about one store/one device. It’s many stores and many devices.”
My favourite comment is the last sentence in this quote.

Last edited by frozennorth; 08-09-2009 at 08:13 PM. Reason: formatting
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:02 PM   #5
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That quote about the combination of 6 PCs and e-reader devices, refers (I believe) to what has always been in place: One can have a total of 6 devices (PCs/Readers) authorized and registered in one's account.

Don
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:05 PM   #6
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Pretty exciting announcement from Sony. If the software shapes up I'd consider switching from Kindle.

So "Owners of the Sony devices can download ebooks in the library for 21 days. " is referring to the actual public library? I was a bit unsure about this comment, I initially thought it was saying you can share your ebooks to other ebook devices for a limited time? I wish publishers would understand that sharing books with other physical devices isn't the problem, it's the people who upload their ebooks as a torrent.

I want to be able to share the book I purchased with my family and friends like I would a traditional book. If that means the ebook can only be opened in one location at a time I am fine with that (like a paper book, it can only be in one place at a time), but current DRM just sucks.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
That quote about the combination of 6 PCs and e-reader devices, refers (I believe) to what has always been in place: One can have a total of 6 devices (PCs/Readers) authorized and registered in one's account.

Don
I agree, Don. However, the "change" appears to be that they are using the generic phrase "e-readers" which seems to imply brands other than Sony.

Overall, a vaguely written article!
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
You can borrow eBooks from the library if the library has Overdrive eBooks. You can get PDF and maybe ePub. My local library supports Mobipocket, ePub, and PDF.
So, it's a non-issue here. There was a trial somewhere about lending ebooks. Never heard of it again. I don't know any library that lends out ebooks.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:20 AM   #9
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I borrow ebooks from the library on occasion and load them on my Sony. My local library only has mobi, and pdf currently, but the reflow for the pdf's are not that bad... for a free loan. I am hoping they will go with ePub soon.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
So, it's a non-issue here. There was a trial somewhere about lending ebooks. Never heard of it again. I don't know any library that lends out ebooks.
I found a link once on my local library's home page to an ebook download service. Then they added new content to the home page a few days later and removed the link. I've several times asked librarians about their ebook service, but no-one knows anything about it - they think I mean their music and audio book services. The interesting thing is I can still access the page (it's some external service) and download books using my library card. There's no interesting content though, so it's not of much use.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:05 AM   #11
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The other thing I found wrong in the article was... "The company is also lowering prices of ebooks. New releases and best-sellers will all be $9.99, matching Amazon’s (AMZN) price point for the first time."

The bestsellers on Amazon are 9.99 not new releases so Sony actually beats, not matches, Amazon on this point.

e.g.
http://www.amazon.com/Sidney-Sheldon...9915005&sr=1-3

Sidney Sheldon's Mistress of the Game (Kindle Edition)
Kindle Price: $14.29 & includes wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet

http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/sid...20the%20Game_1

Sidney Sheldon's Mistress of the Game

List Price: $25.99
save 62.0%
You Pay: $9.99

Last edited by kikar; 08-10-2009 at 11:40 AM. Reason: add example
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frozennorth View Post
My favourite comment is the last sentence in this quote.
Mine too..

Sony can't realistically compete with Amazon's buying power and clout in the book selling market. No single manufacturer can.. So they have to try and encourage diversity, or they will have nobody to sell to.
No media, no media playing device sales.
It just happens that for once, the interests of the company are compatible with our interests.

E-book/app/music stores tied to one device are only good for the maker of the device. Not for the buyer or the media producer. It creates closed walled garden environments that keep device users buying the same brand over and over, and given enough users, could keep publishers from publishing in different formats.

Hopefully Sony and others will have built up a big enough following before the Kindle arrives anywhere outside America with it's one store, one format, one device model.

Having looked at the ePub DRM system, it seems to be not as bad as DRM systems go (unless I'm missing something obvious). And at least allows people to change devices without losing their books, or having to remember where they bought each book and go back and register and re download for the new reader.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:39 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=purl4peace;548739]
I'm not sure if I understand this... does this mean that Sony is going to start offering EPUB formats which can be shared with other non-Sony readers?/QUOTE]
No, essentially they're stating what already exists. One can check-out ADE (PDF/ePUB) books from the public library* and buy books from BoB and other vendors that sell ADE books.

=X=

* Most public libraries support PDF and MOBI as an eBook format, and a few are offering ePUB.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fugazied View Post

So "Owners of the Sony devices can download ebooks in the library for 21 days. " is referring to the actual public library? I was a bit unsure about this comment, I initially thought it was saying you can share your ebooks to other ebook devices for a limited time?
If you look at the context of the statement, “Owners of the Sony devices can download ebooks in the library for 21 days”, it is being used in conjunction with Google Books. Just reading it in context with the paragraph, it could mean that Google Books will function similar to a library and check the PD books out. Obviously, there are a lot of books that you could get from PG that would not be subject to these limits,. But with a statement of “It offers free access to the 1 million public-domain books digitized through the Google Books Project,” that is a lot of books.

I don’t think they would be referring to your public library and quote a 21 day limit as every libraries check out time limits are specific to themselves.

This is just my opinion.

Last edited by switchman2210; 08-11-2009 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:25 PM   #15
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Lots of misinformation here from a reporter who clearly didn't understand the medium.

The "library books for 21 days" refers to the public libraries that offer Overdrive. There are plenty of libraries with this service; check the Wiki link at the top of the forum.

The EPUB reference means that the 1 million free Google books are in EPUB format. If Sony decides to offer books for sale in EPUB, I think that'd be a bigger press release.
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