updated 09:40 am EDT, Thu July 14, 2011
Sony hints Reader upgrades for August
Sony's digital reading VP Phil Lubell revealed late Wednesday that his company will have new Readers most likely shipping in August. He was silent on additions but promised Bloomberg there would be "hardware and software improvements." The plans were underway in spite of the e-reading as the devices still cost less than tablets, according to the executive.
The company was one of the earliest to leap into e-readers in the mainstream but has slipped behind. Both the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook are now considered the leaders not just in the US but in the world, even with their limited reach outside of their home territory. Sony is now closer to the share of Kobo, Pandigital, and other successful but relatively niche e-reader makers.
Some of the blame has been pinned on high prices, which at $180 start well above the $140 or lower Kindle and Nook. At the high end of $300 for the Reader Daily Edition, Sony is also facing stiff competition from tablets, including an increasing number of iPad owners.
Sony will be addressing the high end as soon as September with its S1 and S2 tablets, both of which use Android 3 and can thus use nearly any reading app.