Sony launches two new e-book readers for Japanese market

Sony Corp. on Thursday announced that it will release two new e-book readers in Japanese market in December.

Making its entry in Japanese e-book market a priority, Sony plans to sell about 300,000 units in the first year. Further, Sony aims to acquire about half of the domestic market around 2012, when the company thinks about 1 million e-book devices from Sony and other companies will be on the market.

The two new e-Book Readers:

The two devices, the 5-inch Reader Pocket Edition and the 6-inch Reader Touch Edition, are scheduled to be released on Dec. 10. The Pocket is expected to sell for ¥20,000 (USD 238), and the Touch for ¥25,000(USD 298).

5-inch Reader Pocket Edition: about 9.2 mm thick and weighs 155 grams,

6-inch Reader Touch Edition: about 10.3 mm thick and weighs 215 grams.

Both can carry roughly 1,400 books worth of data and boast black and white electronic-paper displays that can be viewed under the bright sunlight (just like Kindle).

The device can be controlled and inputed by manipulating the sliding touch-panel screen or pushing buttons or using an added stylus pen.

With a typical use, that is reading, the devices last about two weeks on one battery charge.

Sony’s new e-book readers(especially dedicated for reading) will have to compete with rivals, like Sharp Corp.'s soon-to-debut Galapagos, and Apple's iPad, both of which are multimedia devices rather than a dedicated e-book reader.

Coming back to the new devices, buyers will able to purchase and download e-books from Sony's online Reader Store, debuting the same day, with more than 20,000 books in stock. But one thing which doesn’t please much is that the system requires the books to be downloaded to a computer and then transferred to the Reader. But as the devices are dedicated e-readers, the company assumes users will not be critical if they have two connect the device to their computers.

The company also said it is considering releasing 3G and Wi-Fi versions of the Readers, which are already available overseas. --------

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