I just posted a review of the new Sony Readers. I admit that it’s not a great review. But TBH I was rather underwhelmed by ereaders. They’re basically the same as last year’s models.
For 3 years now, Sony has consistently been a step behind everyone else. In 2008, they released the PRS-700, an ereader that still causes people to wince at the sight of the touchscreen (no Wifi). In 2009 they released the PRS-300 and PRS- 600 (still no Wifi) and then followed it up with the PRS-900 in January (3G but still no Wifi). I think the PRS-900 marked the beginning of the end for Sony. B&N shipped the Nook in November, and in terms of innovation that shifted Sony from 2nd place to 3rd place in the US market.
And in 2010 it has only gotten worse. Pocketbook released the Wifi equipped PB-302 ereader in February, It wasn’t a great ereader, but it still did something no Sony Reader could do. And then the Kobo Wifi got Sony kicked out of Wal-mart (5th place now).
You might not think connectivity is important, but apparently everyone else disagrees. Heck, Pandigital managed to field a Wifi equipped ereader, and they just entered the industry in _May_. Think about that for a second. Sony is being out innovated by a digital picture frame company.
Let’s take it one step further. Who is working on a Mirasol ereader? Pocketbook. Who just showed off a color E-ink ereader? Hanvon. They’re coming up with new stuff while Sony incrementally improved last year’s stuff. Now do you see why I think the Sony Reader is doomed?
Do you want to know an even bigger FacePalm moment? The recent Sony Readers could have been released with the ability to buy ebooks from B&N. (Trust me, I am quite certain that I have my facts correct.) Sony deliberately crippled the new gadgets. WTH, Sony?