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  1.    #1  
    Hi all,

    I think Sony may have to cut it's prices in order to move it's product line!

    Take care,

    Jay

    Sony Offers New Generation Of Lighter E - Readers
    By REUTERS, September 1, 2010, Filed at 3:05 a.m. ET

    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/...gewanted=print

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Sony Corp, hoping to spur sales ahead of the holiday shopping season, has slimmed down its electronic readers and also given them touchscreen control.

    The three new versions of its "Reader" line also feature an improved screen with better clarity, the manufacturer said on Wednesday.

    Sony was first to the market with its Reader in 2006 but has struggled to keep up with rival Amazon.com Inc, whose Kindle e-reader is the top-selling device of its kind, according to analysts. Amazon does not disclose sales data.

    In July, Amazon undercut competitors by offering a $139 wireless Kindle. The crowded e-reader market also includes traditional bookseller Barnes & Noble and electronics giant Apple, whose fast-selling iPad device has e-reader functions.

    Steve Haber, president of Sony's digital reading unit, said the touchscreen was one of the top requests made by consumers, who are willing to pay more for extra functionality.

    "Lowering prices to get cheaper and cheaper -- that's not our direction," Haber said in an interview. "Our plan is not to race to the bottom."

    Haber said the company expected to sell more of its lower-cost pocket version last holiday season, but sales of its higher-priced touchscreen version outsold the cheaper one.

    "People stepped up and spent another $100 to buy touch," he said.

    Sony cut the prices of its last generation of Readers in July. [ID:nN06173858] Prices on the new versions are lower than their predecessors when first launched.

    The new pocket version Reader retails for about $179. Sony's larger 6-inch screen version, which allows for extra memory, costs $229. Users of these two devices must plug in to a computer when it comes time to download content.

    Both are available immediately.

    Sony is also offering a $299.99 "Daily Edition," which, like the Kindle, is wireless. It has 3G and a larger screen. The Daily Edition rolls out in November.

    Haber said overall sales of its readers are growing at three or four times last year's levels.

    "We haven't seen any change in momentum," he said.

    Sony said it is also offering dictionaries in its new Readers and has been adding titles to its e-book store.

    It plans to include reader reviews through an integration with social network site GoodReads, and will launch applications later in the year to interface with Apple's iPhone and Android-based smartphones from Google Inc.
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  2. #2  
    And guess what? It will still be a fail. lol They made an announcement they wouldn't lower prices on their previous E-readers and nobody cared.
    My Summer Motto: "When Nature turns off the damn heat I'll turn off my A/C"
  3. catappr's Avatar
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    #3  
    "Sony was first to the market with its Reader in 2006 but has struggled to keep up with rival Amazon.com Inc, whose Kindle e-reader is the top-selling device of its kind, according to analysts. Amazon does not disclose sales data. "

    Of course, this didn't happen because Kindle is better.. it happened because Amazon promotes it on its homepage for months, and with millions of unique visitors a day, you can imagine that the thing sells like warm bread.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by catappr View Post
    Of course, this didn't happen because Kindle is better.. it happened because Amazon promotes it on its homepage for months, and with millions of unique visitors a day, you can imagine that the thing sells like warm bread.
    It's all about the ecosystem. It's so much easier to find, purchase, and install a book onto a Kindle than it is a Sony eReader. Add to that, Kindle's near omniscient presence on mobile devices (iPhone/Pod/Pad, BB, Android) with automated page synchronization and there's simply no comparison.

    'Easy' buttons always sell well.
  5.    #5  
    Hi all,

    I now see Sony's thinking but I still think it won't work out well for them....Sony is so entrenched it's own superiority, that it fails to see that like other areas, they have already closed the barn door AFTER the horse left the barn......ie: Beta max & memory stick......

    Take care,

    Jay

    Sony's latest e-readers: Understanding the trade-offs and global strategy
    By Larry Dignan | August 31, 2010, 9:02pm PDT

    Sony's latest e-readers: Understanding the trade-offs and global strategy | ZDNet

    Sony’s new e-readers are a vast improvement over its previous versions. The latest Sony Readers are lighter, show off touch navigation on an E-Ink screen and could be worthy choices in the e-reader wars vs. Amazon and Barnes & Noble. But there are trade-offs in the devices that could pay off—or blow up—for Sony.

    Understanding the Sony Reader trade-offs requires you to zoom out. From a U.S. perspective Sony’s moves may be confusing. On a global scale, Sony looks quite logical.

    The biggest trade-off here—at least for connected U.S. consumers—is the touch vs. connectivity choice. For instance, Sony gives you touch navigation, but its Pocket and Touch readers don’t off Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity. Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division, says that the company’s research shows that most customers tether their devices. When I asked Haber whether Sony was risking a confirmation bias—customers are tethering because that’s the only way to connect—and he acknowledged that there’s a risk.

    When Sony set out to make its e-readers, it had an interesting mix of features to balance. For starters, Sony has the only e-reader among the big three that have real touch. Barnes & Noble’s Nook has touch navigation on a little strip, but Sony’s e-readers allow you to swipe to turn the page.

    Also: Sony launches new e-readers; Will pricing matter?

    When I took Amazon’s latest Kindle for a spin, I was told that there were too many compromises with touch navigation. In a nutshell, touch had latency because the signal sent by your fingers had to go through two planes—glass and the E-ink. Sony, however, eliminated the need for an overlay screen. Now touch is much more intuitive and works well.

    Sony’s E-Ink touch navigation is a real difference maker. It took some getting used to, but worked well overall.

    But Sony doesn’t quite close the deal. Why? Its touch readers don’t do Wi-Fi. And then Sony has higher price points. Sony’s highest end reader has a 7-inch screen, 3G and Wi-Fi, but will set you back $299. The mid-range Touch, which Haber is betting will be its most popular unit, goes for $229. The Sony Pocket Reader will run you $179. It has touch navigation and a 5-inch screen. Of course, you have to tether.

    Add it up and you have these moving parts:

    Amazon will give you the 3G and Wi-Fi with its $189 Kindle. However, there’s no touch. A Wi-Fi Kindle is $139.
    Barnes & Noble has a Wi-Fi Nook for $149. Barnes & Noble gives you some touch navigation, but there is a latency issue with its Android implementation.
    Sony gives you touch navigation has higher price points, but you have to tether. Instead of plastic casing you get brushed aluminum in various colors.
    Simply put, if you’re shopping for an e-reader Sony’s devices will largely win or lose based on how you weigh touch vs. connectivity. I’m assuming that Sony’s Daily Reader won’t be a huge win at $299.

    Haber acknowledges the risks, but says Sony was giving the best device at a good price. He says that a Wi-Fi, 3G chip would have bumped up the prices for the Touch and Pocket readers. “Wi-Fi would have raised the cost when 99 percent of the time spent with an e-reader is focused on just reading,” says Haber. “We invested in the best possible screen experience. That’s where we put our dollars/yen.”

    Now Sony could be wrong with its trade-off guesses. Haber notes that Sony has a habit of being 5-years too early on trends—a comical reference to the launch of e-readers in 2003.

    Playing for the globe
    Why would Sony make such trade-offs between touch and connectivity? Sony is playing a global game and perhaps 3G and Wi-Fi just doesn’t matter as much in Spain, Japan and China. Haber in Sony’s statement reveals the company’s strategy.

    Haber said that Sony is launching in “the countries we already serve” but also expanding into “previously untapped markets.” He added that Sony takes “a thoughtful approach to country expansion, including Italy, Spain, Australia, Japan and China, working with local bookstores to ensure content is compatible, relevant and in the appropriate language for each market.”

    In the U.S. it won’t be hard to find techies to pan the Sony Reader trade-offs. How can a reader not have Wi-Fi?

    However, there’s a big picture here—and its global. In our 75 minute conversation, Haber mentioned global reach a bunch of times. The Reader carries global dictionaries in various languages. Sony is plotting China, Europe and a bevy of emerging markets for its Reader.

    Sony, widely assumed to be No. 2 in the e-reader market behind Amazon, could be playing to be Nokia. Nokia is big everywhere around the globe except the U.S.

    Sony’s situation won’t be that dire. Sony will be a player in the U.S., but the real win will be in places like Russia, Brazil and China. Why? Sony’s brand carries a lot of weight. And Sony has the retail partnerships that wrap around the globe.

    Meanwhile, Amazon and Barnes & Noble will be hard-pressed to replicate Sony’s global reach. If the global trend is to move away from paper to bits of data the e-reader market worldwide is just beginning. Sony can be everywhere its primary rivals can’t. Meanwhile, Sony’s real rivals—companies like Samsung—don’t have e-readers or the content that needs to ride shotgun. Sony’s store is comparable to the others and has seen its 10 millionth book download.

    So let’s sum up:

    Sony has distribution;
    Credible and improving e-readers;
    And a truly global brand.
    Sony won’t downplay the U.S. market totally, but it’s clear the company is eyeing a larger e-reader stage—the globe.
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group

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