A new(ish) Sony Reader
Sony just released what appears to be an incremental improvement to the Sony Reader. The specs don’t appear to be all that different from the original, and the main changes appear to be in the layout of the buttons. The thing hasn’t shipped yet, so reviews won’t be in until later. I’ve also yet to come across definitive sales figures for the Reader. Given that it’s been critically well received (as far as ebook technologies are concerned) and been on the market for around a year, the Sony Reader’s lack of mainstream impact can probably be put down to a few things which I identified in my book; cost of hardware, cost of ebooks and lack of titles. It’s really a technological solution in search of a problem – a problem that ordinary book readers and publishers don’t think they have. Until readers perceive actual advantages to ebook devices (in the way that they have embraced the actual and perceived advantages of downloadable music and ipods), nothing will change. As I said, technological change is much easier than cultural change. And it will take brave companies to drive that.