updated 07:05 pm EDT, Thu April 2, 2009
Verizon in e-book talks
Verizon Wireless is receiving queries about providing a wireless data connection from hardware manufacturers for an electronic book reader that would be similar to Amazon's popular Kindle 2 device, says a Wednesday Yahoo report. The wireless provider's head of access to non-phone devices, Tony Lewis, said at the CTIA show that five companies have made such an inquiry, though he wouldn't name them. Lewis did hint that the makers are considering offering books the Kindle doesn't, such as college textbooks.
The Kindle 2, like its predecessor, uses a Sprint data connection to download books from an online store that houses 100,000 e-books. Last year, Sony launched a reader as well, the PRS-700, though it relies on a PC connection to load its content.
"We'd love to have Sony on there," Lewis said, but did not confirm whether Sony was one of the five companies showing interest in a partnership.
AT&T has also been in talks with e-reader manufacturers, said the company's head of consumer services, Ralph de la Vega. He said that because AT&T's network has similarities to other systems in the world, it could supply globally marketed e-book readers. The Kindle 2 is only capable of downloading books in the US.
Kindle 2 owners do not have to pay monthly subscription fees to download books, as the price of the service is subsidized by the content providers and Amazon itself.