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eBook wars

This morning when I opened today's Style section of the Washington Post, what should I see but a full page ad for the new Barnes & Noble ebook store. The ad explains how easy it is to buy their ebooks, which can then be read on PCs, Macs, iPhones, and Blackberries. Each device was shown in full color— naturally, none of them was a Kindle— and $9.99 is listed as the price for "bestsellers."

Then when I checked the NY Times online, they had an article about how the new Sony eReaders will support only EPub format. These will not be DRM-free EPub files, mind you. Sony is changing their DRM software, but not doing away with the idea. Further, the article says that Sony plans to launch a third new eReader by the end of the year, in addition to the two launching very soon, and that this third eReader will have wireless (no mention whether it will be wifi or 3G or both).

So, Sony is clearly nor rolling over and playing dead. Kindle may have jumped ahead on popularity, but Amazon has made a few mistakes, and it looks like Sony is loading both barrels and is coming out shooting. Likewise, Barnes & Noble is not ready to yield ground to Amazon, either.

By selling both the eReader and the ebooks, Amazon has two sets of competitors gunning for it. And the eReader side is getting crowded already. I wonder if the ebook side will heat up, too?

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 14th, 2009 12:07 pm (UTC)
You don't need to get a Kindle. If you decide you don't need wireless, the new lower-end Sony is $200. Or, you can wait until the end of the year for the Sony wireless model-- no word on price yet. Plastic Logic will be the best deal for PDFs, but I am guessing the price will be between $300 and $500 (just guessing) and it won't come out until early next year. And rumors are that Apple will have a "tablet PC" that works as an eReader (touchscreen, color, but no e-ink) on the market by Christmas, but no one thinks it will be less than $600.

Wikipedia has a good list of eReaders:


but i think it is missing some of the very latest, like the Cybook Opus.
Aug. 14th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC)
It's interesting to watch, and my guess is it'll work out in favour of writers and readers in the end.

Personally, I'll have nothing to do with Amazon. I don't like the company one little bit.
Aug. 14th, 2009 12:09 pm (UTC)
Lots of people agree with you. I don't care for MicroSoft, either, but my husband and I own 4 Windows PCs.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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