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Old 07-04-2007, 05:01 PM   #1
Dr. Drib
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Philosophical musings: Inexpensive Sony Reader

With the great news that a batch of (supposedly) 1,000 units just sold out at TigerDirect for $99.99, I started to think about the implications of what this might mean.

Note: I was able to order one at that price, but it's backordered. Question: Did TigerDirect actually HAVE 1,000 units in their warehouse at the time they sold out?

These are some of the philosophical musings that occur to me:

1) Amazon is about to release their "cheaper" reader, thus "forcing" Sony to remain competitive.

2) The Reader is being discontinued - No new Reader forthcoming due to lukewarm [read mediocore] sales.

3) The Reader is being discontinued - a new model is about to be released.


Regardless of what might take place, I'm convinced that the Sony Reader has been - for me - a liberating experience. I've read more books - and "created" more books - than I thought possible. Readng has always been a joy for me; the Reader contributes even more to my enjoyment of reading.

What are your thoughts?


Don
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Old 07-04-2007, 05:05 PM   #2
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I have absolutely no fear that Sony is already dumping the Reader or bringing out a new model. I don't know where Amazon is on the Kindle, but I wouldn't look for it before the end of the year, I believe I recall hearing something about them having software issues holding them up.
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Old 07-04-2007, 05:20 PM   #3
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I feel that my $350 for the reader was money well spent. I have actually purchased more books, (i.e. eBooks) than usual. Probably have not read more since I am a slow but methodical reader - read during TV commercials, in line at Burger King, etc. However, that said, I have only bought a very few pBooks and only read maybe two since I got the reader.

So yeah, I'm glad I spent the money & no I didn't get in on the $99 reader mistake - when I looked, it was $329. I would like some improvements in the reader. I still use my Palm T/X for reading since it is nearly always with me. I would like a fold up e-ink reader that would fit in my shirt pocket.

Long live the e-ink reader & its offsprings.
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Old 07-04-2007, 05:27 PM   #4
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Some devices you get and wonder why you ever wasted your money on them. Others are worth what you paid for them. A few are worth many times what you paid for them. For me the Sony Reader falls into this last group. I feel as though I have already gotten my money's worth from the Reader and everything else is a bonus.

While Sony HAD a history of sticking with a product (Betamax, minidisk) even if the market reaction was less than expected; we do not know what is in the minds of the new Sony executives. Parts of CONNECT not related to the Reader have already been closed which leads to the question, "Why save one part just to close it down a month later?" I think the answer is that they are not abandoning the Reader and used the Tiger Direct as an experiment to see how the market reacted to the $100 price point. The buzz generated here alone may have been worth more than the same amount of money spent in one of their print advertisements. If we assume a not unreasonable 100% retail markup and a now regular selling price of $300, Sony's return dropped from $150 to $50 per unit thus costing Sony only $100,000 for the whole thing. (All prices are in US currency.)
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Old 07-04-2007, 05:33 PM   #5
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Seeing that for the past week, new books were added continously to CONNECT (i've been trying to figure out where to spend the rest of the 50 dollar credits on, so I checked the new releases every day....), I'd put my trust that the reader will not be ditched completely.

I'm rooting for some new versions, but doubt that they will come out before autumn.

Well, at least we now know that an ebook reader with EINK below 100 dollar IS possible. So I might have to take my words back here https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...ewpost&t=11723

However, this is of course a 4th of july, one time only marketing gimmick, so I'm not sure if it counts.
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:03 PM   #6
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I'm not worried about Sony discontinuing the Reader. I think it's doing pretty well for them, and I suspect they have their sights set on bigger and better things as the technology advances. For me, it's also such a great "appliance-like" device that I feel like I definitely got my money's worth in terms of enjoyment and usage. Like an appliance, it just works, and you don't feel the dependencies on the technology, or even the limitations of format and DRM. You just sort of take it for what it is and enjoy that. Plus all the great MR e-book uploads don't hurt one bit either!
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:46 AM   #7
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The people who ordered four or more Sony Readers should be ashamed of themselves. I'm not able to buy that many books in english (I live in Mexico), this was my chance to widen my scope. Unless I see another reader for at least less than $150. I'm hopeless..
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:26 AM   #8
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I hope you know about the eBookwise-1150. Although it is not eInk, people say it is a great reader. Cheap too!

Also, a refurbished Palm will give you a lot of good use as a reader. I have used a series of them for years. Prices vary. I picked one up this spring for US$39. Aim for the monochrome models that use two AAA batteries. The batteries last a month and you can easily carry spares.
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Old 07-08-2007, 12:26 PM   #9
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Sony (or Amazon) is in a really good position to become the next Ipod; if they release a cheap reader imho.
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Old 07-08-2007, 12:46 PM   #10
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I think $50 to $100 is the correct price for the an eBook Reader. This should be a razor blade type business. You give people the reader cheap and make all your money on the books. I personally think Sony doing the $50 deal is partly to get people using their credit card and partly to clear out inventory. I'm betting a new version is on the way.
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Old 07-08-2007, 02:00 PM   #11
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The card company likely picks up some of the cost of the Reader in this deal, if so, then Sony likely comes out better than we might expect.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by aagstn View Post
I think $50 to $100 is the correct price for the an eBook Reader. This should be a razor blade type business. You give people the reader cheap and make all your money on the books. I personally think Sony doing the $50 deal is partly to get people using their credit card and partly to clear out inventory. I'm betting a new version is on the way.
I seriously doubt that it's economically viable to produce a "full function" reader in that price bracket - at least not for the foreseeable future. The screen accounts for most of the cost and that's manufactured by a third party, and the costs aren't directly under Sony's control.

Unlike, say, the PS3, where Sony can sell the console at a loss and recoup money on selling games, that's not really feasible with the Reader. Many (perhaps even "most") people will not buy books from Connect - there are so many other sources.

I don't personally feel that $300-ish is unreasonable for the Reader; it's roughly the same price bracket as devices like the iPod, and that certainly sells well enough.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:09 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by eppythacher View Post
Sony (or Amazon) is in a really good position to become the next Ipod; if they release a cheap reader imho.
I really don't think that the price has much at all to do with whether a product becomes a success. The iPod has been a huge success even though it's pretty much the most expensive MP3 player on the market.

Often a high price is associated in peoples' minds with high quality. Given two pretty much indentical products at different prices, some will buy the more expensive simply because it is more expensive and they perceive it as having more value for that reason alone.
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:01 AM   #14
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I really don't think that the price has much at all to do with whether a product becomes a success. The iPod has been a huge success even though it's pretty much the most expensive MP3 player on the market.
At a reasonable price for the product, I agree with the above, but what is reasonable depends on the market. UMPC's until now or tablets before are not that hot, because they are too expensive right now. Sony just cut the price of PSP, because despite all the goodies it had, it could not compete with cheaper Nintendo and Xbox, and many examples abound.

For an e-reader device the main obstacle is a lack of free or at least cheap legal current content. The iPod has this since it's so easy to burn a cd. If we had a (free) magic wand that took a print book that we own and in 10 minutes made a digital file (at no cost to us) out of it, e-readers would fly off the shelves.

This is why current prices are too high for the market, though demand is there as we saw recently, the bid-ask spread is still very high, and the buyers are not willing to bid up the prices in numbers, so the sellers will be forced to come down or marginalize the product.
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:15 AM   #15
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For an e-reader device the main obstacle is a lack of free or at least cheap legal current content.
It's just a matter of educating people that there are tens of thousands of free books out there - PG, etc. Some people have the strange idea that any out of copyright book is "boring" and not something they want to read. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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