Is Sony's New Reader A Kindle Killer

by Greg on August 28, 2009

Sony is coming out with a new ebook reader that should be on store shelves in time for Christmas. Some are calling it a Kindle killer. While it does have some nice features that the Kindle 2 and Kindle DX do not have, I still don’t think it will be a Kindle killer. As a matter of fact, I don’t think anything will ever be a Kindle killer.

The ereader market is still very young and there is most likely going to be room out there for more than just the Kindle or the Sony reader. Plastic Logic is planning on releasing an ereader and many believe that Apple is going to come out with an ereader of their own. There are estimates that about 3 million ereaders will have been sold by the end of this year and that number will only get bigger as time goes by. This is similar to what happened with MP3 players. The most well know MP3 player is the Ipod but there are many other MP3 players out there that have had a lot of success.

I think the same will happen with ereaders and I do think that the Kindle will stay at the top of the ereader market – but only if they come out with some important features on their next Kindle. For instance, the new Sony reader has a touch-screen and uses the same e-ink technology that the Kindle uses. We were told that the reason the Kindle 2 doesn’t have a touch-screen is that they couldn’t use a touch-screen with e-ink. Apparently, these two technologies can now be used with one another so I’m hoping my next Kindle has a touch-screen. And, of course, the one thing I’m always writing about is having folders to help categorize books which really should have been on the first Kindle.

There’s always going to be new competition for Amazon coming out with new readers and new features but I’m pretty confident that Amazon will keep up with them if not lead the pack. They do have the advantage of having one of the most well know websites in the world where they can put their reader right on the front page for everyone to see. I just hope they listen to their customers and come out with a Kindle that has features that we’ve been asking for and, if they do, they won’t have to worry about any so called “Kindle Killers”.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Darrell Lew September 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm

I’m not sure why Amazon or Sony just don’t collaborate – at least have Sony download books from Amazon.com. I don’t believe Amazon is too interested in staying in the hardware arena b/c selling books is really what it’s all about for them.

No matter what the Sony will look like, it’s the delivery system and amount of book titles available is what really sells these devices, right?

2 kathy September 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm

i love my kindle …the only dream for the future kindle 1) touch screen 2) back-lighting 3) portrait and landscape screen movement ability 4) improved speech (sounds to robotic)
please keep it at the kindle2 size and most of all the cost—-compared to other styles the kindle is a BIT pricey

3 Debbie Bourn September 16, 2009 at 7:52 pm

I LOVE my new Kindle 2 and have it with me almost 24/7. I listen to many books, but absolutely refuse to listen to the books purchased directly from my Kindle. The computer voices are absurd…obviously monotone, no recognition of punctuation, pronounces words incorrectly to the point of being unrecognizable. Without proper “voice” capability, I then am forced to purchase on line from Amazon and download from my computer to the Kindle. This is fine…but I certainly don’t get the same kind of price advantage that readers get. I don’t expect to get the same $ advantage, but I’ld like to reap some of the benefits from listening as well as reading. Either improve the voicies or allow us to purchase audio books directly from Kindle.

Thanks,
Debbie Bourn

4 Randy Astle September 10, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Amazon has to also add some key functionality before I will return as a customer:
1) support for common eBook formats — notably ePUB
2) support real tables in eBooks
3) support using their eBooks not just on the Kindle but also on a PC with the MobiPocket reader (which strangely enough, they own — but don’t use) or some other application.
4) A user replaceable battery and extensible memory (SD cards, etc.) are also important to me.
5) As you mentioned, the ability to categorize and organize books in user defined ways.

5 Jill Dennison September 4, 2009 at 2:10 pm

We can only hope that the competition will drive the price down. I will likely remain loyal to Kindle, but unless the prices come way down, I will own my original Kindle and never be able to upgrade in this lifetime!

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