Sony Updates Its Reader: Built-In Light, Touchscreen But Still No Wireless

imageWe’re in e-book leapfrog mode … the third generation of *Sony’s* Reader Digital Book (PRS-700BC) offers a 6-inch touch screen with built-in LED lighting, a stylus, a virtual keyboard and a faster processor. Priced at $400, $50 higher than the Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) Kindle, it should start shipping mid-November. Sony (NYSE: SNE) has filled in some of the Kindle gaps and looks sleeker (that’s not hard) but still lacks wireless. This reader is for people who aren’t interested in impulse buying from the runway. Steve Haber, president of Sony’s Digital Reading Business Division, told AP a wireless unit is in the plans but it has to work with the multiple vendors that are now part of Sony’s more open strategy.

Sony has the same kind of trade-in offer it has for laptops with the current generation of Readers, offering $100 off for anyone turning in the first generation. A similar program for the new model hasn’t been posted yet but this one runs through January 2009.

Meanwhile, one of the favorite iPhone claims lately is how a free app called Stanza transforms the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) device into a Kindle-Sony killing e-book. I’ve used Stanza and it’s no Kindle. It will appeal to people who want the iPhone to be a Swiss Army Knife.

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