Archive for sony
Welcome back to another Good e-Reader exclusive contest. Today we are giving away an e-reader we just found in our review labs, the Sony PRS-350.
The Sony PRS-350 and 650 were the most popular Sony e-readers the company ever produced. When they were first released on August 2010, they couldn’t keep them in stock on the retail level, due to ravenous demand.
I really liked the five inch display because it made it really pocket friendly. The resolution is 800×600 and features a touchscreen to flip the pages of your favorite book. There is no WIFI built into it, so you will have to load in your own PDF or EPUB books.
The 350 is in fairly great condition, as it was just used for the purposes of unboxing, reviewing and comparing against other readers on the market. In order to enter, you merely have to subscribe and like our YouTube channel and comment on the video, letting us know you have done all of the above.
Sony has shuttered their online bookstore in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the US. This means if you have a Sony PRS-1, T2 or T3 e-reader you will no longer be able to buy eBooks. Users have been transitioned to the Kobo bookstore, but how do access it? Today, we show you how to search for the new firmware update, install it and access Kobo.
If you have not turned your Sony e-Reader on for awhile, when you boot it up and connect to WIFI you should see an update notification. You can drag your finger down at the very top of the screen to see the update. If you click on it it will ask if you want to download it. It is around 100 MB in size, so it should take a few minutes to completely download. Once it does, you can access the status menu again and click on the update. This time, it will ask if you want to install it. This process normally takes around fifteen minutes and will reboot your reader.
Once the Sony boots up after the update, you will have your Sony Reader Store switched over to Kobo. This warrants you making a new account with them, if you don’t already have one. In your library you will normally see all of your books on one shelf. If books are missing, you can click on the tab at the top of the screen and switch your shelf to Purchased Content.
Sony opened up their first eBookstore in 2004 and was selling e-Readers before Amazon released their first generation Kindle. In early 2014 Sony got out of the eBook business and closed up shop in North America, United Kingdom, Europe and Australia. They encouraged all of their customers to switch to Kobo, as an avenue to continue purchasing content.
There is a long storied history of Sony being involved in the e-Reader sector and they released more models than anyone in the entire industry. Today we look at the evolution of the Sony brand, from the first device, until their last. Incidentally, if you like this evolution piece, check out the ones we did on Amazon and Kobo.
The Sony Librie was otherwise known as the EBR-100EP and was originally released in April 2004. It was the very first commercial e-ink device, and was sold only in Japan, but many devices were sold in the US through online retailers and with a third-party English OS upgrade. This reader was the result of a three-year collaboration between Sony, Philips, Toppan printing and E Ink Corporation.
The resolution was 800×600, which was amazing at the time and many modern e-readers still adhere to this old standard. People were surprised this could hold over 10 books with the 10MB of storage and were able to listen to music and audiobooks via the speaker and headphone jack.
The Librie was interesting historically because Sony developed their own proprietary eBook format, LRF. This model basically only read books that were purchased from the Sony Japanese book store and had no support for PDF or other popular formats at the time, such as Microsofts, Nokia, or Palm.
The Sony PRS-500 was known as “A Reader” in their promotional and marketing campaign. This was the first device that Sony marketed outside Japan and was released in September 2006. This was one year before Amazon unveiled their own Kindle reader.
Sony streamlined this e-reader and discarded the physical keyboard that was on their first device ever made. Instead, they went with a unique controller system that was in essence two joysticks. One was for page turns and the other for accessing the menu, settings or dictionary.
The first Sony reader could only store 10MB of data, and this model was upgraded to hold 64MB, which drastically increased the amount of books that could be loaded on it. No longer were customers forced to delete books they finished reading, but could store over 80.
This reader had the same e-ink screen as the Libri, but had a faster processor. On November 16, 2009, Sony announced that a firmware update is available to support the ePub and Adobe DRM format and add the ability to re-flow PDF documents”. Owners must send the reader into the Sony Service Centers for the updated firmware. You can obviously tell how infant the e-reader industry was during this era, when you had to mail away your e-reader for over a month for them to load in the new firmware for you.
The Sony PRS-505 was originally released in October 2007, the same year Amazon unveiled their first generation Kindle. This model used a new e-Ink Vizplex display screen, which provided faster page turns than the prior models. Although the overall performance was enhanced, Sony still abided by the 800×600 resolution. This also marked the first time that you could charge a Sony reader via the USB cable.
Sony increased the internal storage yet again on this model, which saw a dramatic leap to 256MB and over 500 books available to be stored. Also, adding books to “Collections” (a feature to organize and group book titles) is now possible on the SD card, unlike the PRS-500 model.
July 24, 2008 marked the first time this model received a firmware update to support the fledgling ePub format Adobe Digital Editions 1.5 and Adobe DRM protected PDF files, automatic reflow of PDF files formatted for larger pages enlarges the text to improve readability, and support for high capacity SDHC memory card. This time, instead of sending the reader in to get the update, it was provided as a free download, along with written instructions.
The Sony PRS-700 was a benchmark e-reader and broke the mold on several fronts. It was the first touchscreen e-reader and the first model to feature an illuminated screen to let you read in the dark.
Sony heavily invested in touchscreen technology with their e-readers and this was the first of many to fully adopt it. Moving in this direction eliminated the D-Pad and most keys, minimizing the footprint and making it easier to hold. This was also the first e-reader that allowed you to make highlights, annotations on the fly and take advantage of the new virtual keyboard.
The LED lights on this unit was a precursor to the front-lit technology we see on the modern 2014 readers, such as the Nook Glowlight, Kobo Aura and Kindle Paperwhite 2. It all started with Sony making in-roads and taking the risk of developing technology never seen before on an e-reader. The overall experience was really lacklustre and jaded executives so much that they said they would never make a LED reader ever again.
Sony Touch Edition PRS-600
The Sony PRS-600 was known as the Touch Edition and was released the very same day as the five inch Pocket Edition on August 2009. This reader continued the trend of having a speaker and 3.55 headphone jack and relied on the touchscreen as a way to take notes and highlights.
The Touch Edition was the first time Sony marketed their readers in three different colors, black, white and red. This model also increased the storage from 256MB on the prior model to over 512MB. It had the same resolution as the older models, so did not break any new ground on the ePaper front.
Up until the launch of the Touch Edition all Sony e-Readers were unable to read PDF or EPUB files out of the box. You had to either send them to Sony via snail mail for them to manually patch or do it yourself. This was the year that Sony firmly switched over from their own LRF format to EPUB and native PDF support.
The move to firmly embrace EPUB and PDF allowed a new generation of users to be able to not exclusively shop at Sony anymore for their books. Instead, they could deal with other retailers and use Adobe Digital Editions to sync up the purchases.
This was the first e-reader that Sony really stepped their marketing efforts on. They made a number of stock images for bloggers to use in their writeups and started blitz campaigns in the Sony Style stores and also expanded their retail distribution into countries like Canada.
Pocket Edition PRS-300
The Sony Pocket Edition was released on August 2009, the same day as the PRS-600. Sony went back to their roots by offering an entry level reader for a solid $199, which made it one of the cheapest models at this point in time.
One of the ways Sony saved many was abandoning the costly touchscreen technology and instead went with physical page turn keys, D-Pad and manual page turn buttons. It also had no MP3 audio or expandable memory. It has a similar interface to the PRS-500 and PRS-505.
Sony Daily Edition PRS-900
When the Sony Daily PRS-900 was first unveiled in December 2009 it bucked the trend of the standard six inch device and incorporated a 7 inch screen. Sony also borrowed a page out of Amazons playbook and offered free 3G internet access to the US version of the Sony bookstore.
Sony increased the memory yet again to a whopping 2GB, which allowed over 1700 books to loaded on it. It also boosted up the resolution, making it the best on the market at this time. It had 1024×600, which was ideal for reading texts in landscape or portrait mode.
The Daily Edition was the first time there were no hardware buttons at all. It was completely reliant on the touchscreen and Stylus for all of your inputs. 2009 was a big year for Sony with 3 new devices hitting the market months within each other.
This model was really expensive and set you back US$399 at the time of release. This was mainly to offset the costs in the internet access, which at the time was a pricey value proposition. It was considered to be the very best e-reader on the market and was more accessible than Amazon.
Setting The Stage for the Next Generation
August the 10th 2010 was a milestone for Sony as they released the second generation Pocket Edition, Touch Edition and Daily Edition. The company really refined all of their technology and this lineup of devices was at the height of the e-reader and eBook boom period.
2010 was the year that competition really started to heat up between Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo. E-Ink, the Taiwan company responsible for all of the e-paper displays made over 3 billion in this year alone and even NEONODE, the company responsible for the IR touchscreen tech was making millions.
Sony used their advanced e-readers as an avenue for growth. They opened up online bookstores in the UK, Europe and Australia. All of these models were highly visible in the retail sector, but it was costly. Australians were paying almost 2x the retail cost in North America and most flocked to eBay or other online merchants to save a bundle.
This was the final year that e-Reader revenue was expanding at a geometric rate and it started to decrease in the following years. This was also the last year Sony released three new devices annually and only did one, focusing their efforts on the more lucrative smartphone and tablet market.
Sony Pocket Edition PRS-350
The second generation Pocket Edition was launched on August 2010. This was the first modern line of Sony readers to adopt E-Ink Pearl, which provided a better experience than the antiquated Vizplex technology.
The Pocket Edition continued to be Sony’s smallest ever Reader, clocking in at five inches. It hit the market cheaper than the previous PRS-300 at US$179. Unlike the first generation model it incorporated a touch screen, and two GB of Memory but lacked an SD Card Slot and does not support MP3 playback.
Sony PRS-650 Touch Edition
The Sony PRS-650 was released August 2010 and was announced at the same time as the touch-screen PRS-350. It is Sony’s mid-range device, priced at US$229. As the replacement for the PRS-600 model, it is Sony’s higher-scale, touch-screen edition of the reader. It has a similar interface to the PRS-350.
This reader was fully touch screen but brought back physical buttons, such as the settings, options, home and manual page turn keys. The Touch Edition is a compact and lightweight e-book reader; responsive touch-screen interface with no glare or contrast issues; high-contrast E Ink Pearl display; zippier performance than its predecessor; integration with Sony e-book store; good battery life (up to two weeks); supports EPUB e-book standard, which allows for e-book downloads from libraries; audio playback; SD and Memory Stick Duo memory expansion slots.
Sony was unprepared for the Q4 demand for the 650 e-reader. There were a few key reasons why this model in particular is so hard to purchase anywhere in North America, UK, Australia and other countries. Sony in early December recently did a relaunch of their new e-readers in Japan. This was the company’s second attempt to penetrate the often fickle Japanese market. Sony actually diverted shipments from all over the world to Japan, creating an international scarcity.
Sony Daily Edition PRS-950
The PRS950 model of the Daily Edition was released August 2010 and adds Wi-Fi to the free 3G wireless access to the Sony eBook store. The Reader Daily Edition features a high contrast E Ink Pearl technology on its anti-glare touch screen. It is otherwise similar to the older PRS 900 model.
This was the last 7 inch model that Sony sold and many users still have this model in 2014. One of the downsides is that the 3G internet has been shut off, because Sony closed their bookstore in North America. The only way to be able to connect up to the internet and use the web-browser is to utilize your personal or public WIFI. It retailed at the time for US$299.
The Sony PRS-T1 came out in October 2011 and marked the first time Sony only released one new e-reader model. The T1 was also known as the Reader Wi-Fi and was billed as the world’s lightest 6″ e-Reader with a glare-free, paper-like display designed for hours of comfortable reading, even in direct sunlight.
The big hyping factor behind the T1 was the new product design, that would shape the next two iterations of the PRS-T product line. It was the first Sony branded device to have built in WIFI to purchase books, magazines and newspapers at Sony Reader Store. Customers could also browse the internet with the built in browser. It also had a built in Overdrive APP, to allow customers to borrow books from the public library.
Sony adhered to the 2GB of memory size, which they found to be enough for your average user. They have also used the same resolution 800×600 that they employed for the last five years.
The T1 was very internationally friendly with 12 Built-in Dictionaries with 2 English and 10 others, such as French, German, Spanish, Dutch and Italian.
The Sony PRS-T2 was released September 2012 and mirrored the PRS-T1 in almost every single way. One of the most striking differences was the home, settings and manual page turn keys. The T1 had long rectangular buttons, which was a bit unwieldy. The T2 has really small buttons that actually had a ton of torque, it made interacting with them more intuitive and made the device more streamlined.
One of the big deals Sony trumpeted was their business relationship with Evernote. You could save your notes, highlights and annotations directly to your Evernote account, which made students and academics lives a bit easier. The average person really did not care and the T2 update really felt like the iPhone 4 and the 4S, in terms of a very incremental update, not really needed.
The Sony PRS-T3 is the most current generation commercial reader that is still being sold online and in many retail stores. Currently it has no built in store, but a firmware update will be adding the Kobo Store as an avenue to purchase content.
The Sony T3 was released September 2013 and bypassed the US to be launched in Canada, then the UK, Europe and Australia. This was the first true high-resolution e-readers that mirrored what Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo were doing at the time. 1024×758 is currently the gold standard for e-Reader resolution and it is hard for text to be anymore crisp.
Sony sold two different versions of the T3 e-reader line, the second many just came with a case and reading light, it was an extremely limited release, mainly just in Canada.
Sony Digital Paper
The Sony 13.3 inch e-Reader is going to usher in a brand new era of high quality e-Paper that allows for a true PDF experience. Sony has exclusivity over this brand new technology called Mobius, which they developed with e-Ink.
The screen itself is quite respectable in terms of resolution and pixel density. The resolution on the display is 1200×1600 with 150 PPI. The main attraction is using the active digitizer and interacting with complex PDF documents. You can edit documents by jotting down your own handwritten notes, or even highlight passages to go back to later. You may elect to save your notes as independent files, which makes referencing them in the future easier.
The large screen display will simply give you the best PDF experience you have ever had on an e-reader. I have personally reviewed over 83 different e-readers since launching Good e-Reader in 2009, and this was the first one to give me a quality PDF experience. It is only available at two online retailers, both who have been sold out for over a month. You can take your luck with Amazon, who sell it for a cool $1400.00.
Sony was once the most dominant player in the e-reader revolution and was the primary mover in selling hardware and eBooks. Rising competition from small companies such as Pocketbook, Onyx and Ectaco slowly whittled away market share in Western and Eastern Europe. North America and the UK saw Amazon, B&N and Kobo take them to the cleaners and eroded the profitability of the e-reader division.
Sony now intends on only marketing their phones and tablets and has given up on e-readers. The company has signed a longterm agreement with Kobo, to have their eBook app preloaded on any future Sony branded Android device. Each book customers purchase will pay Sony a small commission, similar to how Kobo cuts in indie bookstores all over the world.
The current e-reader industry would not be where they are today if it weren’t for Sony. The made one of the first mainstream touch screen e-readers and the best with LED lights to read in the dark. The 3G Daily edition inspired Barnes and Noble to offer a similar service with their first Nook 3G model. Sony may have lost their shine, but historically very significant to a billion dollar publishing industry.
Sony has been heavily invested in e-readers and eBooks since 2007 and was one of the first companies actively developing products in this space. During the last few years Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo have all been out pricing Sony on eBooks and e-reader prices have fallen dramatically, due to cutthroat competition. This has resulted in Sony abandoning their Reader Store in North America, Europe and Australia and sourcing all digital sales to Kobo. Japan is the last country where the Reader Store is still going strong and Sony is doubling down, to focus all of their energies in being the top player.
In an exclusive statement to Good e-Reader, Vice President of Marketing for Sony Tony Smith said “We are increasing sales in Japan by concentrating our focus on offering a wide range of reading opportunities across various compatible devices, and on enhancing the store services and the selection of digital content. We aim to develop the Japanese business further by increasing the range of digital content working with publishers or partners, expanding the lineup of compatible devices, such as Xperia or PS Vita, cooperating with CRM platforms such as My Sony Club, and enhancing the accessibility of the store service such as offering extending it to PCs, and enriching IPhone/iPad experience.”
The digital gambit for Sony in Japan is not without massive resistance by some very important sectors. Newspapers still remain immune to going digital, although they enjoy a more loyal subscriber base than those in North America do. Professor Hayashi Kaori of the University of Tokyo said that “Newspaper circulation figures remain remarkably high in Japan. Among the major national papers, the Yomiuri Shimbun — Japan’s largest — puts its circulation at slightly less than 10 million. The number two, Asahi Shimbun, has an official circulation just shy of 8 million. Japan’s regional newspapers typically reach 50 percent of households in their market, and a fair number boast a penetration rate of 60 percent or higher.” Many of these nws companies employ elderly people to distribute the papers to stores and customers. It is thought that if digital is given a priority that they would have to lay some of these people off, and this is something they are not willing to do.
Sony does not have the best track record when it comes to developing new mobile reading platforms and executing them. In 2012 they were actively developing a Storyteller app for the Playstation Vita, which never saw a commercial release. Nintendo also beat them to the punch with launching a kids bookstore on the DS.
Exclusively focusing all of their energies on a singular market, with one major language does have obvious benefits. Sony was born in Japan, and that puts them in a better position to leverage their overall brand to duke it out with Amazon or Kobo. The chief concern is if Sony can execute any of their planned enhancements for their mobile apps or the PS Vita?
Sony is officially getting out of the eBook selling business and has just announced the closure of their UK, Germany, Austria, and Australia Reader Stores. The stores will shut down for good on June 16th 2014 and all books will be transitioned over to Kobo.
Last month Sony officially shuttered their North American Reader Store and transitioned all of their customers to Kobo. All Sony branded e-readers received firmware updates that removed the store and a future update will add the Kobo Store to all Sony devices.
Sony is abandoning selling books in every single market in the world now, other than Japan. The company has found it can remain profitable outsourcing all of the bookselling business to Kobo and earn commissions on every sale. All current and future Sony e-Readers and Xperia tablets and smartphone users will be able to buy books from Kobo in their own country. Kobo currently operates dedicated bookstores in UK, Germany, Austria, and Australia, so the transition will be smooth.
Existing European and Australian Sony customers will be receiving emails in the coming weeks with full instructions on how copy their books to Kobo. It is important to note that just the store is shutting down and you will be able to read your books the way you have always have. This is useful because not all Sony books are compatible with Kobo, especially magazines, newspapers and older books in LRF format.
Sony was one of the first companies to get into the e-reader industry back in 2006. The also started one of the first online digital bookstores and dominated the e-reader market until early 2012. They saw increased competition from Apple, Amazon, B&N and Kobo. Instead of fighting it out with cheaper book prices and e-readers, they decided just to scrap selling books and focus on tablets and smartphones.
“We are delighted to be working with Sony to reach the most passionate Readers in Europe and Australia, by bringing the Kobo world to Reader Store customers – keeping them reading their favourite stories,” said Takahito Aiki, CEO, Kobo. “Both companies share the goal of putting the most passionate booklovers at the centre of the reading experience. This means providing the best experience through innovative technology coupled with a vast and comprehensive digital reading ecosystem.”
Sony has abandoned the North American market and has successfully transitioned the majority of their customers to Kobo. Today, Sony has issued a new firmware update for their PRS line of ereaders that remove the Sony Reader Store. They also have eliminated the ability to sync bookmarks and book sharing options.
When customers install the new update they have no ability to purchase eBooks anymore. Sony has confirmed that they will issue a final update in the next two weeks that will add the Kobo bookstore as an avenue to continue to make the e-readers relevant.
The firmware updates should be available to install via WIFI and are only applicable to users living in North America. If the updates are not pushed out to you yet, you can simply download them from the links below. Residents of the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia are discouraged from manually installing it, as they still have the ability to purchase eBooks from Sony.
Sony has sent out the first batch of emails that instruct customers on transferring their library of purchased content to Kobo. The process is relatively simple, you have to register for a Kobo account and click on the Getting Started Link. It will scan your library and begin uploading your books to the Kobo account. The only books that will not transfer are books that Kobo does not sell in their bookstore.
Users are reporting that the success rate of transferring their existing library of content from Sony to Kobo, is around 85%. The bulk of titles that are not transferring are self-published, magazines, newspapers, comics, manga and kids books.
The Sony Reader Store is now officially closed and users will not be able to buy anything further directly on their e-reader anymore. Sony has promised that during the next few weeks they will push out a firmware update to the Sony PRS-T1, Sony PRS-T2 and Sony PRS-T3 that will replace the Sony Store with the Kobo one. Users will soon be able to buy books directly from Kobo and read them on the Sony Reader.
Users are implored not to fret if they have not received the transforship emails yet. Sony obviously can not send out millions of emails at once, and it will take about a week for everyone to receive them.
The Sony 13.3 inch e-reader is coming to the United States this May, which falls inline with information we were told in November. The company intends on rebranding the device as the Sony Digital Paper. It will only be sold through Worldoc, a U.S.-based company specializing in document management for legal professionals. The cost? A staggering $1,100.
The Sony Digital Paper features a 13.3 inch screen and a resolution of 1200×1600 with 150 PPI. The screen uses new E Ink technology dubbed Mobius by E Ink. The main attraction is using the active digitizer and interacting with complex PDF documents. You can edit documents by jotting down your own handwritten notes, or even highlight passages to go back to later. The large screen display will simply give you the best PDF experience you have ever had on an e-reader. I have personally reviewed over 83 different e-readers since launching Good e-Reader in 2009, and this was the first one to give me a quality PDF experience. Oh yeah, it weighs half the weight of the iPad Air.
This e-reader is meant to just be a dedicated PDF reader, it does not have any support for eBook formats such as Mobi, EPUB or RTF. The essence of the Digital Paper is for professionals that need a solid A4 screen and being able to jot down notes.
We will be getting this in our labs in the next few months, so keep checking back for a comprehensive hands on review.
Sony has stated it will continue using its own proprietary software to power its smartwatch lineup. They don’t seem to care about Google launching Android Wear, the platform designed specifically for use in smartwatch devices. The Japanese conglomerate had earlier stated it is channelling their resources heavily towards mobile devices, such as phones and tablets.
The above development is interesting, as Sony isn’t the only company to ignore Android Wear, at least for now. Samsung has launched its revamped Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch running Tizen. As things stand now, it’s the Moto 360 and the G Watch from Motorola and LG respectively that have revealed Android Wear based smartwatch devices.
“We’re excited about the potential of Android Wear to extend the mobile OS experience into wearable devices,” revealed Sony. “While we are currently focused on our in-market wearable offering, including SmartWatch 2, we continue to work closely with Google as a key partner and continue to evaluate opportunities across a number of areas as we extend our SmartWear Experience.”
The Sony Reader Store will be closing operations March 20th in the USA and Canada. Kobo will be taking over the existing customer base and support the exporting of purchased books from Sony to the Kobo platform. Last week, Sony sent out an email to anyone who has purchased an eBook from them to prepare them for the coming move.
“Dear Reader Store customer:
As a follow-up to our announcement on February 6, 2014, we wanted to remind you that Reader Store will be closing March 20, 2014 at 6 p.m. (EST). Although we are sorry to say goodbye, we are confident that the transition to Kobo will allow you to continue to enjoy a high quality e-reading experience.
So, what’s next?
As a reminder, in late March, you will receive a notification from us with a link that will allow you to transfer your library to Kobo. Whether you are new to Kobo or already have an account, you’ll be able to transfer your Reader Store eBooks to your Kobo account so you’ll continue to have access to them in the future. Plus, any existing Reader Store credits you might still have in your account will transfer to your Kobo account to use at the Kobo Store. And of course, you can continue to use your Sony Reader to read eBooks from Kobo.
We are fully committed to helping you through this exciting transition to Kobo. With the Kobo Store, you’ll have access to more than 4 million of the world’s best eBooks, magazines, comics and kids’ titles, all at your fingertips.
We want to thank you for being such loyal customers, a part of our reading family, and for your continued support as we work to complete this transition. It has been a pleasure reading with you!
The Reader Store Team
Sony announced a few weeks ago that they were closing the Reader Store and customers books were being transferred to Kobo. With a bombshell announcement like this, it was inevitable that many questions and concerns would arise. Sony has addressed a few of this issues to Good e-Reader, that should put people at ease.
Within the next few weeks there will be an automated email sent out to customers who have purchased books from the Reader Store. This email will provide users with a step by step tutorial on how to transfer your library from Sony to Kobo. Obviously not all titles you bought from Sony will be available on Kobo, and you can still read them on your Sony e-Reader regardless.
Many customers have voiced their trepidation about switching their library to Kobo. Sony has confirmed to Good e-Reader that nothing will happen to the books that are on your device. You can continue to read all of the books you bought from Sony, doing the same things you have always done. You just cannot buy new titles from the Sony Store. Whether you have bought 1 book or have thousands, you are not forced to transfer your library to Kobo to keep on reading.
Sony e-Readers often have a ton of space to house thousands of books. Some readers like to keep their devices lightweight and delete past purchases once they have read them. This is no big deal, because all purchases are stored in the Sony Cloud, able to be downloaded again, at any time. Sony has verified that you have until April 30th to redownload any of your past purchases, that were deleted from the e-Reader.
Finally, the Sony Daily Edition, was one of the more popular e-readers and had a 3G connection. Sadly, Sony confirmed ” The 3G connection to Reader Store on the PRS-900 or PRS-950 will be discontinued. We encourage customers to download our Reader for PC/Mac software (available here) . Starting in late March, our Reader for PC/Mac software will enable customers to directly connect to the Kobo Store for future purchases. They can use the software then to also transfer new titles via USB to their Reader from Sony.”
So in the end, customers are not forced to switch their libraries to Kobo. If you are happy with your current collection, nothing will happen to it. You can continue to read books forever on the Sony Reader, you just can’t buy new ones. Many people don’t want to switch to Kobo, for various reasons. Going forward, you can just download books from the internet and manually load them on your device, no big deal.
Over the last few weeks Sony has announced the closure of their digital bookstore in the US and Canada. This apparently was a foreshadowing of what is to come, as the Japanese company has announced 20 of their 31 retail stores in the US will be closing down immediately. Close to 1,000 people will be losing their jobs and the only stores to remain will be in California, New York, Florida, and Texas.
Sony has been floundering for a number of years with their dedicated Sony Style and Sony retail stores. The companies 4K television technology and Sony Playstation 4 are doing very well. Basically, the company is restructuring their retail presence by selling their tablets and smartphones in electronic and cell phone stores. Instead of being burdened by a costly overhead, they are going to just have big box and boutique stores sell their devices for them. This obviously is the ideal strategy going forward, as the bulk of their customers are starting to buy more things online.
Sony can be considered the first mainstream company to get involved in the e-reader space. They had models on the market at least a full year before Amazon even announced the first Kindle. A few weeks ago a bombshell announcement was made that Sony was closing their online Reader Store and transitioning all of their North American customers to Kobo. Users, are starting to express tremendous disdain about this move.
Jeff P recently wrote “HORRID! HORRID! HORRID! I’ve been a member since November 2007. The only readers or tablets I’ve ever were Sony so that I could use the reader software. I once told a sales clerk that I didn’t need the extended warranty because I was buying a Sony. Almost every piece of electronic equipment I have is Sony. I won’t buy another Sony ANYTHING. Yes, you say customers are first, well, I’m the first customer to tell you that you’ve made a HORRID mistake and I’m never going to buy another Sony product EVER.”
Ray Laurence actually made a very good point. “Shocking news. I am surprised that I received this news via my son who received an email from you. I never received an email. Considering the volume of purchases and the activity in my account, I would have thought I would have been notified. I would like to know what Sony intends to do with our financial data, and if I can remove it at this point.” Sony let him know that they will only remove financial data on a per request basis.
Danise said “I am struggling to not cry. I worked for Borders books for 10 years and liquidated 3 stores. For any book lover, for anyone who wants options in the marketplace (Amazon being the last place I buy books), this is a shame.”
Elle Couto weighed in by saying “I am very unhappy about this and it is unlikely I will ever purchase a Sony product again. Your company does not realize that any time a U.S. customer purchases anything from Kobo, we pay a foreign transaction fee. This is why I stopped purchasing from them. Bad form, Sony and I will certainly keep that in mind when I purchasing other products that Sony makes.”
Joeanne Vallat commented “To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I love my Sony e-reader and the Sony site. I have 300+ books on my e-reader and am holding my breath that they transfer over. From the other comments about Kobo, the quality, pricing and customer service I am really not looking forward to this experience. I signed with Kobo with my BB Playbook and only got one book as there was just no comparison between Kobo and Sony. I do not believe your statement that you care about your customers or you would have done more research on this before you made the move.”
Della said “I hate kobo when borders went out of business kobo took over and we never could recover our purchased books. This stinks.”
Ron is another user regretting to ever do business with Sony “When Borders closed their ebook store they moved content to Kobo as well. What a disappointment that was. Funny thing, Sony closes a well run site and transfers customers to Kobo, a company that somehow manages to stay in business despite a lack of customer service, poor interface, poor selection, high prices and just an overall bad experience.
For what it’s worth, I went to Kindle recently and I wish I had gone with Kindle in the first place. And, it’s relatively simple to load epub books onto the Kindle, just google for instructions. Amazon customer service is great, prices are good, it’s easy to use and the battery life is much better than Sony (I have 3, all have short battery life). And the new Paperwhite has built in side lighting as an option. It will be a long, long time before I buy another Sony product.”
Tony weighed in with “I have just been SHOCKED by the news of Sony abandoning yet another one of its greatest creations! I am a loyal SONY consumer, but it is starting to become hard to stay in love with them. From the Mini-Disc to its music store and now its ebook store…all GONE. Extremely saddened!”
Elizabeth Ruyle lamented “I am really beginning to feel like I have been scammed. I have had my Ereader for a little over 3 years and have been very happy with it and the library/store. Therefore, for Christmas I bought two readers for my children – supposedly on sale. Now I find out my reader won’t work on transfer.
My reader needed a repair and in the process the tech lost about 8-10 books I really want. Now they say over $100 to repair, even though the model won’t work. I thought Sony was a well established and reliable company – so much for “reliable name brand” companies. I really feel like we are getting a raw deal. I have bragged about Sony readers to everyone who has asked what brand I have. Not any more, I will complain and bad talk Sony now. This 78 yr old lady feels like I have been taken advantage of.”