Sony Responds to Kindle, Nook Price Drops

Dave Zatz —  July 5, 2010

Prior to the Barnes & Noble and Amazon Kindle price drops, Sony had actually been testing lower Reader “sale” price points at both their physical and online outposts. And it now looks as if those numbers have been made permanent… perhaps in light of their competitors.

The Sony Reader Pocket Edition (5″) clocks in at $150, the Touch Edition (6″) runs $170, and the Daily Edition (7″) has dropped to $300. Unfortunately, the only model Sony has imbued with wireless capabilities is the Daily Edition – which is over $100 more than the competition. Speaking of that competition, Sony’s own Kindle comparison guide presents the Reader in an unfavorable light. However, Sony Reader hardware does feature tight metallic enclosures and two of the three current models offer a touch interface – the probable natural evolution of a digital book platform.

As for me, I’ve been enjoying my new, refurb Kindle 2 ($140) while on vacation this weekend — catching up on PC Mag’s July edition (delivered wirelessly) and making progress on a novel I started reading on the iPhone weeks ago.

(Thanks for the tip, John!)

3 responses to Sony Responds to Kindle, Nook Price Drops

  1. This is definitely a “nice try” scenario for Sony. They cannot seriously expect to compete with a $149 WIFI capable Nook that definitely holds its own. I suspect there could be more to it than this for Sony. They may be preparing something bigger and badder and have decided to make the playing field more even in the meantime. I would not be surprised to see a “Pearl” powered Sony Reader come out in the not so distant future.

    Thanks for the post. More thoughts in my post about this news: http://ebookreader-ben.com/sony-cuts-prices-again-just-149-for-pocket-edition/

  2. Except that the Nook and Kindle both have issues of their own. The Nook has had some pretty horrible software problems, and last I tried one was really unbearably slow. The Kindle has a lot of extra plastic and this huge keyboard thing. The kindle is also the only reader poised to lock you into a bookstore. Everybody else (nearly) does epub. Many do adobe adept.

    The sony readers that are touch suck — the touchscreen is hard to read through. But, the build quality is much better.

  3. Scott,

    I agree most of the platforms are flawed – especially when it comes to UI. The Nook is faster these days… when the color touchscreen doesn’t get hung up. Personally, I don’t mind being locked to a single book store – I read a book once and then move on. I haven’t spent any significant time with Sony’s top end unit and wonder if the 16 greys of that touchscreen present better than the 8 of the Touch Edition.

    I primarily decided on the Kindle because it’s the least bad of the UIs that incorporate wireless under $200 – as I fully expect to pass this on to my mom at some point. I saw her on vacation this weekend and gave her a quick tutorial. She should be able to handle it when the time comes.