Sony has had their hands full with the impending launch of their new e-reader line to North American audiences with the Sony PRS-T1 line of e-readers. The company is quietly launching a new e-reader exclusive to Japan called the PRS-G1, which is a 3G version of it.
The Sony PRS-G1 is basically the PRS-T1 but with 3G internet access which will see a release in Japan starting in the middle of November. It features a 6 inch e-ink pearl display with IR touch and has a resolution of 800×600 pixels. It connects up to the Sony Reader store in Japan, giving customers the advantage of downloading books, magazines, manga, anime and more! The 3G network supported is CDMA2000 1X, CDMA2000 1x EV-DO Rev. 0/Rev. A Up to 1.8Mbps uplink 3.1Mbps / up to down. It also has WIFI in it as well.
I would not expect to see this reader have a release in the North American and Western European markets because of the difference in 3G standards. It would require a hardware modem overhaul in order to get the high speeds here and most customers are resistive to premium prices for a 3G connection. Recently Barnes and Noble suspended sales of their original Nook 3G, because customers were not purchasing them. Customer Research from iSupply and IDC have stated that most readers never even use the 3G options and most companies don’t even bother because the modem adds $20 to $30 to the OEM.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.