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Old 01-09-2007, 05:06 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Hot: Sony plans Reader successor for this year

Lo and behold, what's the big story of the day? A guy from the Associated Press talked to Sony CEO Stringer during the CES2007, and he came up with some juicy bits of news regarding the Reader.

Firstly, Sony is sticking firmly to their plans to create a market for e-books. According to Stringer, U.S. sales of the Sony Reader is better than expected. And what's more: Sales of downloadable e-books are exceeding the sales of music on Sony's online Connect Store. Who would have known!

And secondly, Sony is planning to release a new Reader model this year, adding wireless capabilities, most likely to compete against Amazon's rumored upcoming Kindle device.

Excited? I can barely contain myself.
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:31 AM   #2
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Hmmm. A Reader with WiFi isn't something I'm going to wet myself over . This "content sharing" thing (like Microsoft's "Zune" player) seems like little more than a "fad" to me, and I don't personally have a problem with plugging a cable in to the Reader to upload content to it.

I could be wrong, though. Let's wait and see. Personally, though, I'd rather see a new model with a touch screen, decent search facilities, annotation, etc, than WiFi.

Excellent news, though, that sales are going so well. Let's hope the anticipated launch in the UK in the summer is equally successful.
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:38 AM   #3
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I am not very keen on wireless either (wireless = high power consumption). But a new Reader may include other improvements... who knows, perhaps with a newer E Ink screen, or a better keyboard layout?
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:40 AM   #4
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I'm very pleased to hear that the books sales are doing so well, it's encouraging to see that kind of response. Personally speaking I've bought more books for my reader in 3 months than I've bought songs from iTunes in 3 years so I can believe the claim.

Wireless integration isn't a huge deal for me either but I suppose it all comes down to what they want to do with it. It'd be nice to be able to "lend" an ebook wirelessly give the recipient the ability to read that book once before it's removed from their device. In much the same way as you'd lend a paperback.
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:43 AM   #5
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Oh yes, don't get me wrong - I welcome the news of a new model! Although WiFi is not a big deal for me personally, I'm sure that it will have other improvements too.
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:08 AM   #6
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It seems like bad business sense for Sony to announce a new reader. This cannot help sales of the PRS-500. Why would anyone buy the PRS-500 knowing that a new and improved product is on the way. Right now I am very satisfied with my reader. There would have to be significant improvements for this new reader to make me interested in buying it. Of course if Sony would offer a discounted price for those of us who already have purchased the PRS-500 I might consider getting the new model.
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:42 AM   #7
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Well...it looks like the eink/ebook business is getting off to a good start this year!!!

I don't really care about wireless either, and I don't really need a touchscreen (I use the WACOM of my Iliad perhaps once every two months...) but it could be a useful feature for things like dictionary lookup and web-browsing...but those things are secondary features and not among my priorities...

Now I only hope Sony finally brings the Reader to Europe and gets a lo more books online...and cheaper too...
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Old 01-09-2007, 07:35 AM   #8
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Exchange content wirelessly with your desktop computer quickly and without messing with cables. Download RSS feeds from the internet. Get your daily news automatically over wifi. Subscribe to serialised books on the web, and download chapters automatically? Dickens would have been up for it!
Wireless connectivity is essential to the long term success of ebooks IMHO.
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:10 AM   #9
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How about a simple directory structure that allows folders/sibdirectories. THAT would be a major improvement!

And while we're at it a simple USB interface that would simply allow book files to be moved to and from the Reader as with the Cybook which simply appears as a drive to a PC?

I see feature creep coming. Do nothing to improve the basic functionality but add enough bells and whistles that the device becomes a nightmare to use until we reach the point where the cell phone industry has gotten where someone is selling a great new device that does nothing but.... make phone calls.

I want a device that allows me to move files easily onto and off of the device. find them on the device and then allows me to READ them.

Next thing will be a docking station that provides a keyboard and mouse and monitor. lol
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzwaryn
How about a simple directory structure that allows folders/sibdirectories. THAT would be a major improvement!

And while we're at it a simple USB interface that would simply allow book files to be moved to and from the Reader as with the Cybook which simply appears as a drive to a PC?

I see feature creep coming. Do nothing to improve the basic functionality but add enough bells and whistles that the device becomes a nightmare to use until we reach the point where the cell phone industry has gotten where someone is selling a great new device that does nothing but.... make phone calls.

I want a device that allows me to move files easily onto and off of the device. find them on the device and then allows me to READ them.
Yes - 100% agreed with your views. Don't try to make the Reader into a mobile web browser, or a 2nd rate tablet PC; concentrate on the basic functionality of reading books and make it do that very, very well.

The most successful devices are, to my mind, those which do a single job exceedingly well - that's why the iPod has been so successful. Devices which attempt to do a dozen different jobs and do none of them terribly well are no use to anyone.
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzwaryn
How about a simple directory structure that allows folders/sibdirectories. THAT would be a major improvement!

And while we're at it a simple USB interface that would simply allow book files to be moved to and from the Reader as with the Cybook which simply appears as a drive to a PC?
I SERIOUSLY hope that they will include both features in the current edition of the Reader. It should be all possible with a software upgrade.
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:50 AM   #12
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I just hope they improve the ergonomics.
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:01 AM   #13
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One positive point I could see from a wireless feature would be in a combination with software that would allow one to peruse through a computer or server's content, to import books or music. And maybe mail.
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:20 AM   #14
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If this is a thread about the NEXT generation of Sony's reader, why are people requesting new features for the current edition? Assuming that Sony has finite resources, it is more likely that it will save new features for the new machine rather than work on improving the old model.

If we want the new features, we can shell out the cash for the next gen machines when they are available. Unless Sony indicates to the contrary, current users should only expect incremental changes to the current firmware.
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:32 AM   #15
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Hopefully we're missing the bigger picture: how do you step into Starbucks to grab a refreshment and the latest news via T-Mobile's Hotspot without a keyboard to login with?
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