Further details of Sony's upcoming Reader PRS-300 and PRS-600 ebook devices have emerged, courtesy of some prematurely-posted J&R product listings. The two devices, first spotted in a couple of leaked service manuals, now have MRSPs and full specifications thanks to the quick copy fingers of the HiPDA forums.
Sony are tipped to be readying a new ebook reader for August release, which would bring WiFi connectivity, a larger display and more internal storage. Believed to be the replacement to the Sony PRS-505, itself first announced back in October 2007, the new device would slot in beneath Sony's more recent PRS-700 and lack that model's touchscreen interface.
The scaling up of business partnerships in the approach to the launch of Plastic Logic's eponymous ebook reader, together with the sell-out success of the Amazon Kindle DX certainly seems to suggest that there's a market out there for large-scale e-paper devices, and that's a segment manufacturer AU Optronics seem keen to capitalize on. According to CEO LJ Chen, the company is ramping up to produce 10-inch and A4 (8 x 11 inch) sized e-paper panels.
Hot on the heels of Plastic Logic's "exclusive eBookstore" deal with Barnes & Noble comes word that the ebook reader will use AT&T's wireless network. Full details of the deal are unknown, though Plastic Logic have confirmed that the device will also be able to get online via its integrated WiFi connection.
Barnes & Noble and Plastic Logic have announced a partnership which will see the publishing house become the "exclusive eBookstore provider" for the 8.5 x 11 inch super-skinny ebook device. Set to arrive in early 2010, the Plastic Logic reader will have wireless access to the Barnes & Noble download store, which they're calling the largest selection of ebooks available in one place.
Polymer Vision, the company responsible for the Readius e-paper device first promised for the fall of 2008, has folded. The company had most recently announced that it required further funding in order to begin production; however it could not secure that in sufficient time, and called in receivers on July 7th.
The ebook reader market is hotting up, as the Amazon Kindle continues to propel customer attention, and the latest model to get reviewed is the Cool-ER. Based around the Netronix EB-600 (as is the Elonex 600EB), it lacks the wireless connectivity of the Kindle, but still has a 6-inch E Ink display and reasonably broad format support.
You have to admire Peking University's Founder Group: when asked about any connection between their ebook device, shown here, and Amazon's Kindle 2, they bravely told those at the Digital Publishing Fair in Tokyo that "it has nothing to do with the Kindle." Unfortunately they also seem a little confused about their own hardware specifications; asked about the E Ink panel size, and they said it was "unclear". Happily Tech-On!'s Takuya Otani had brought a ruler, and found it to be a Kindle-like 6-inches.
Despite speculation back in April that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp were investing in a color ebook reader device, the outspoken CEO has this week denied that it is the case. Instead, Murdoch told interviewers on his own Fox Business channel, News Corp would be looking to be platform agnostic, distributing its content across any device from which subscription fees can be claimed.
According to Murdoch, the news organization has been talking with major ebook reader manufacturers including Sony, Fujitsu and Samsung about their device plans. He suggests that large-scale penetration of the market won't occur for another one to two years.
Amazon have slashed $60 off the price of their Amazon Kindle 2 ebook reader, pulling the device to $299 for the first time. The move is being seen as a response to a growing number of ebook reader rivals, though admittedly none have the same wireless distribution network in place that Amazon have organized.