Sony’s upcoming eBook readers (with pix)

Just finished a briefing with Sony about their new Reader editions. In the background you see the Touch and two colors of the Pocket edition.

In the foreground you see the upcoming “Daily,” due in December. It’s like a Touch with a longer screen and 3G (with the usual “free national access via AT&T”).

And it includes additional features that Sony wasn’t ready to talk about yet.

Though the name invites speculation. Oh, and I noticed that the Daily had an “Applications” button that wasn’t to be found on the Touch. Tapping it led to an empty page.

“Real” reviews will come later (I leave this briefing with two Readers in my satchel). For now, an hour of conversation leaves me feeling very good about Sony’s attitude: they seem committed to supporting open content and open bookstores. A Reader will read any Word doc, any PDF, any ePub…and even any storebought or library ebook in ePub format with Adobe ACS4 DRM.

My big worry is that publishers will drive consumers to piracy via multiple incompatible DRM systems. I think Sony’s making a smart play by keeping their Readers as agnostic as possible.

An aside, in parting: I always seem to favor religious terms to describe device independence. I tapped “Agnostic,” then considered changing it to “Ecumenical” and then, flustered for a third option, I even considered “Catholic.”

I defend each of these choices on the basis that they each contain fewer syllables than “Device-Independent.”

(Plus: it’s clearly divine ordinance.)

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from ihnatko’s posterous

5 thoughts on “Sony’s upcoming eBook readers (with pix)

  1. Matt

    Glad to see the competition heating up in this arena. Until a week ago, I was certain I wanted a Kindle for Christmas, then the Nook moved in. Now I’m thinking the Sony products don’t look half bad. I can’t wait to see how this shakes out. This competition is only good for the consumer.

  2. Ihnatko Post author

    I sure hope we’re headed towards a destination akin to the digital music business: buy content from wherever you want, and enjoy it on any device you want.

    I don’t think we’ll ever see the publishing industry abandon DRM, but if they all simply agree to use the same kind (ePub with Adobe CS4) it’s all the same to me.

  3. Stephen

    Oh great and much beloved technology pundit/columnist…….. when are we going to see your new ebook reader comparison?? bought Kindle2 practically on your recommendation alone (well, not quite, but almost)….

  4. Ihnatko Post author

    I don’t know when I’ll have a “comparison” up, per se. There is so very much activity in this space that it’d be months before everything shakes itself out. I still think the Kindle 2 is the best reader overall, but I haven’t had my hands on a Nook yet. And the Sony readers clearly have some specific advantages (chiefly: their open nature).

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