Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sony Daily Edition, Nook, iRex, PL-Que Comparisons, Delays

Excellent comparison piece by Staci D. Kramer of Paid Content a couple of days ago that included charts of features for the two current Kindles, the Nook, the iRex 8.1", the Sony Daily Edition, and the Plastic Logic "Que" - (Chart 1,  Chart 2) and Kramer's own thoughts on each unit in Slideshow format.  Page loading is slow on the charts.
  It's interesting to note (and she more or less does) that every unit except the Kindle Int'l and the Kindle DX is not available for customers or reviewers yet despite the looming holiday season.

  As an executive editor, she's a generalist but knows her e-readers and gives pros and cons for each in a very balanced report that is fair to each.  She is the only one I've seen who refers to the Nook's "unexpected demand" delay-reason as possible hype that works.
  I read, with some disbelief today, another writer's report of holding a plastic or cardboard version of the Nook at B&N and saying how good and right it felt, despite its having no innards.  Size matters, they say.  And definitely colorful slim looks.

  On the other hand, the Nook has a promising feature set, especially with file formats, even if the heavily-marketed lending feature is now seen as quite limited (one loan only for each book and only if the book's publisher approves the feature).  The indication of future multi-tasking with the 2nd window is a draw.

  I did comment at the site that the charts which list features that each does or doesn't have should also have categories for other unique features such as the Kindle's free 24/7 access to Wikipedia globally and the text-to-speech feature.  Kramer catches just about everything else and seems impressed most with the iRex and Que, both of which will be somewhat more expensive but also more flexible and catering to the business users most.

NY Times: New Sony Reader May Miss Christmas for Some
Brad Stone of the New York Times reports that Sony is unable to guarantee that the Daily Edition ($399), with wireless to the Sony store and a 7" touchscreen, will arrive in time for the holiday.
  Today, Sony will begin taking preorders and advising buyers that shipping will take place between December 18 and the first week of January and the device won't be in physical stores until January.

Steve Haber, president of Sony's digital reading division, said that publishers hate the current $9.99 pricing and are trying to slow down the shift to digital reading but that it's "ridiculous" that they are actually delaying some e-book titles over the dispute.

On October 22, the American Booksellers Association asked the Department of Justice to investigate bestseller price wars.  Here is their letter to the DOJ via overnight mail and email.
  And here's the varied reaction to that letter. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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  1. Regarding the small booksellers, why don't they just set up an account on Amazon with Prime shipping and buy the books from them with free second day delivery. It's certainly less expensive for them to buy the best sellers that way than from traditional distributors. Then they can sell them for a few dollars over the Amazon cost and still make money at $12 to $15 (compared to Amazon, Walmart, and Target who are all losing money at that $8 or $9). If customers really love the service that they get from the small, independent booksellers, then they'd be happy to spend a few dollars more to keep them in business.

  2. Jim,
    Very creative! People talk a good line but it seems every dollar counts after spending a bundle on the reader :-)


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