Wednesday, 26 August 2009

eReaders – fighting the wrong battle

(By Richard Holway 9.00am Wednesday 26th Aug 09) Yesterday Sony launched its new WiFI-enabled, 3G, touch screen eReader – the rather clumsily-named ‘Reader Daily Edition’. It sells for $399 – a clear $100 less than Amazon’s market-leading Kindle.

Sony has done a deal with AT&T so that US readers can download newspapers with no associated network charges.

The concept of reading my daily (or evening) newspaper on an ereader on the train is something that greatly appeals to me. Reading it on my iPhone is difficult and getting your netbook out on the train or in the street is often not on.
But I just don’t get why I should need a dedicated bit of kit that only does books and newspapers. That’s why I am so excited about the Apple iTablet. As far as I can see, the Apple product would do everything that Kindle or the Sony Reader can do but it will also do everything a netbook and iPhone can do too! So I could easily place my iTablet on my lap on the train to read the paper, watch last night’s Coronation Street, read a book downloaded from the iTunes store, play a game from the Apple Apps Store, listen to my music (with full album cover design and notes)…oh and do my emails and a bit of work too!

Sony didn’t understand what was happening in the digital market when they let Apple’s iPod take over from the dominate position they had with the Walkman. I think they may be about to misjudge what the market wants yet again with their eReader.

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