Blog Post

New Sony Reader Is Kind Of Pricey For An E-Reader Nobody Wants

Like the Kindle Tablet, the new Sony (NYSE: SNE) Reader has not been officially confirmed for a launch this fall, but this weekend a MobileRead forum user came across an accidentally leaked Dutch product page for the new e-reader, the Sony PRS-T1. One of the keys to widespread e-reader adoption is lower prices, but Sony appears to be bucking that trend by making the PRS-T1 pricier than other e-readers currently on the market. Why?

The Digital Reader runs down the PRS-T1’s features. The Dutch reader is priced at €164.95. That’s about $239 in U.S. dollars, but the Dutch price includes the 19 percent VAT, a user on the MobileRead forums pointed out. But even assuming the U.S. price is 20 percent lower–around $190–or even somewhere between $150 and $190, the Sony would be more expensive than the comparable Kindle, Kobo, and Nook e-readers currently on the market.

What accounts for the higher price? Not the features of the e-reader, which include a touchscreen, wifi and, as Mike Cane points out, a stylus. (That brings to mind Steve Jobs’s 2010 comment: “If you see a stylus, they blew it.”) The reader also has Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and Wikipedia search, which could suggest a web browser.

Oh, and it comes in hot pink red.

The Dutch product page is the surest sign yet that Sony is releasing new e-readers, though the rumor mill certainly hasn’t been churning anywhere close to the extent that it has for the Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) tablet. Back in July, Bloomberg reported that Sony would release new e-readers this August.

Sony is also a partner on J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter e-book site Pottermore.com, and I’ve wondered if the company might release a special gimmicky Harry Potter e-reader for kids. The Register reported a rumor that all seven Harry Potter e-books would be bundled exclusively with the new Sony Reader–granting buyers early access. There’s no mention of Harry Potter on the Dutch product page, so maybe Sony’s releasing a separate Harry Potter-themed e-reader as well. But a stylus and Harry Potter e-books are probably not going to be enough to entice buyers away from the Kindle–even the Nook and Kobo–which are heading ever closer to a sub-$100 price.

One Response to “New Sony Reader Is Kind Of Pricey For An E-Reader Nobody Wants”

  1. Sony products are always premium priced. I’m sure many have turned down sony products coz of the price factor. It’s high time they cut down on their expenses & margin & offer realistic pricing.