Another Sony Reader Review

This time from engadget. In the book, I suggest that the definitive ebook device is on its way; despite the fact that it’s lagging behind the development of things like digital cameras and mp3 players. It may be taking a while, but the ebook is following a similar development trajectory. I haven’t played with a Sony Reader yet, but I don’t think it’s *the one*. (But if anyone out there has one – even an old one – I’d love to play with it) But as Engadget suggests, those of us who remember the Diamond Rio can see the pattern…

it really does remind us of the early MP3 players back in the late 90s: maybe the content isn’t as readily accessible as we might like, but the hardware is starting to come into its own (we have a feeling 3rd generation will be prime time), and damned if we don’t want to start using this thing for all our bookwormish purposes post-haste.

And yes, the iphone as ebook reader review *is* coming; I’ve just finished reading one novel on it, and started another. About enough screen time to pass judgement, methinks. Watch this space 😉

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3 comments so far

  1. Kate Eltham on

    Hi Sherman,

    I read this review today of the Sony PRS-505 by science fiction author Charlie Stross. I thought it had some nice analysis.

    http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/

    I’m still struggling with the convergence issue. Why will consumers invest $300 plus in a device that only reads text? Especially if it has some of the limitations Stross mentions, eg no Wifi, no phone subsystem and DRM-ed to the hilt.

    Makes me think that this is not a “will it be a killer device or kill app” question at all. It’s got to be a set of conditions, the right set of conditions – a universal e-book file standard, capability to read and port that standard in a ubiquitous convergent device like the iPhone, DRM-free content from a media aggregator like Amazon or iTunes, and the right pricing model.

    It’s like lining up four symbols on a pokie machine.

  2. shermanfyoung on

    Hi Kate

    Yeah, I think you may be right. I’m beginning to think that people probably won’t buy an *extra* device, but if one they already want (eg a phone) makes a decent ebook reader, then it may hit the sweet spot. And you’re spot on about pricing – I think that’s key; once you get past the early adopters, cost always seems to be the driver of widespread adoption. I like your pokie machine analogy – except maybe it’s possible to line up symbols one at a time. Whilst all conditions need to be met, they don’t have to happen together (if that makes sense). Maybe it’s more like a game of mastermind…

  3. Kate Eltham on

    ack! I never was any good at mastermind… 🙂


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