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Sony Reader PRS-T3 Still Not Available in the US Two Weeks After it Launched

sony-prs-t3-release[1]Ever since Sony officially announced their new ereader a couple weeks ago I have been waiting with bated breath for news on when I would be able to buy it here in the US.

I’m still waiting.

In spite of the fact that the new PRS-T3 is already in retail channels in Canada, UK, and Europe, and in one user’s hands in Spain, there still has not been any announcement about a launch in the US.

What’s even more interesting is that Sony won’t make any promises about any plans to launch the T3 in the US. I checked on the day this ereader launched, and I was told they don’t speculate. Naturally that has me quite puzzled.

Sony has long had a reputation of going against market and industry trends, but this is a new one for me. In 2011 Sony downsized from 3 ereaders to a single model at a time when Amazon and everyone else was launching multiple models. And then in 2012 Sony basically relaunched a less capable version of the year-old PRS-T1 as the PRS-T2 (no sound) when everyone else was launching improved ereaders with more features and better specs. And now Sony has decided to forgo a US launch.

I don’t understand why. It can’t be because of FCC certification; that happened months ago. I know that Sony is more interested in selling ebooks on their smartphones than in selling ereaders, but this is still a strange move. It’s one thing to lack interest in a market but something else to simply ignore it entirely.

Sony might not have much of a ebook or ereader market share in the US but that’s no reason to simply ignore the market, is it?

via my competition

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Jason September 17, 2013 um 12:41 pm

It’s just my humble opinion, but I say why bother?

Nate Hoffelder September 17, 2013 um 12:56 pm

Because Sony would sell more of them and stand a better chance of recouping the development costs.

But I do agree that it raises a related question. Why bother releasing an ereader at all?

Sony doesn’t care enough to invest in a cutting edge model, and it’s pretty clear that Sony is more interested in their smartphones and tablets. So why have an ereader? Nostalgia?

Maybe Sony is working towards something awesome in the ereader niche, and the current devices are placeholders intended to keep the staff busy while the new ereader or screen tech is still being developed?

fjtorres September 17, 2013 um 4:56 pm

For the same reason they sell cheap disposable batteries, 60’s style transistor radios, and a dozen margin-free consumer products: Sony is incapable of getting out any business they ever made a Yen from.
It’s almost like they’re a government run jobs program: cancelling a product line would mean transferring or firing the associated employees and that is anathema to Sony. Even when Kutaragi went renegade against the CEO and the board and cost the company billions of *dollars* in PS3 losses they merely promoted him out of the way instead of firing him.

Alexander Inglis September 17, 2013 um 2:30 pm

Some days you wonder if the Sony ebook team is quietly working away in some far flung office, and, like prisoners of war decades later, missed the meme that the war was over and Sony have closed the ebook division. Given lack of investment and innovation in the bookstore, it’s hard to make the case Sony is interested in mobile over e-ink. It looks like they are simply not interested, period.

MizzBee September 17, 2013 um 2:58 pm

Maybe that guy on the management team at Barnes and Noble who was forced out is now at Sony. Industrial Espionage =destroy and/or disable?

Leo September 25, 2013 um 12:33 am

I just got a kobo aura, as i also was thinking about sony for pdf’s but i am satisfied with my purchase and best of all, i don’t have to WAIT for a US launch.

Finally: IT HAS A BACKLIGHT. what more can i ask for.

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