‘Competition Heats Up in the E-Reader Market as Sony Adds a Wireless E-Book to its Lineup’

Selon InStat:

‘On August 5, Sony Corporation announced that it will add two e-books to its PRS e-reader lineup. The PRS-300 and PRS-600 will be priced at $199 and $299, respectively, and will be available at retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart. On August 26, Sony announced another new addition to its e-reader lineup: The Sony Reader Daily Edition. This will be priced at $399, offer 3G connectivity through AT&T, have a touchscreen, and open up a wider range of free and paid-for e-book content to its users, according to In-Stat (http://email.in-stat.com/cgi-bin4/DM/y/hBToX0JN6xs0K560DHgc0EP).

The aggressive pricing for the low-end e-readers, and the introduction of a wireless e-reader, is clearly Sony’s attempt to encroach on the lead Amazon currently holds in the e-book market with its Kindle lineup. Amazon and cellular operator, Sprint, have partnered to allow all Kindle users to wirelessly access digital e-book content via the Sprint EVDO network. There is no fee to the user, and a PC is not required. Content is downloaded directly to the Kindle; and this seamless content-to-hardware delivery experience has been a major driver of Amazon’s success in the e-book market.

Until Sony announced its wireless e-reader, the company remained at a distinct disadvantage to Amazon. But now Sony can not only compete with Amazon more directly, but can also address a wider range of consumers than Amazon since it offers more affordable e-reader models to consumers who may not want wireless connectivity.

Overall, the e-reader market continues to heat up as Amazon updates its Kindle lineup and as Sony expands its offerings. Worldwide e-reader shipments are expected to reach 28.6 million units in 2013, up from 924,000 in 2008. Market drivers include new entrants to market, international expansion of e-book availability, anticipated price declines, and the electronic distribution of newspapers.

For an in-depth analysis on the worldwide e-book market, refer to In-Stat’s research titled “Wireless Delivery of Digital Content Propels E-Book Adoption” (#IN0904509ID). In addition, In-Stat is about to publish the results of a recent survey of North American owners and future buyers of e-books.’

Gilles

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