Sony Fumbles Its eBook Reader

Oh, I know there are people at Sony who are gnashing their teeth.

Unfortunately, they weren’t put in charge of the Sony Reader, so the result has been:

Why Sony lost the battle of the e-book

Sir Howard [Stringer] was not in charge of Sony during the Walkman debacle and partly owes his appointment three years ago to the recognition that new leadership was needed to pull the divided company together.

But the e-book battle occurred on his watch, after he identified the Reader as a product that Sony should throw its weight behind. So the ascendancy of the Kindle is – or ought to be – an embarrassment.

Emphasis added by me.

Oh, I’ve ripped into Stringer several times here:

What’s Going On With Sony And Its Reader?

Howard Stringer was written up in the New York Times. What did he focus on? OLED TV screens!

Really, tell me what is so special about Yet Another TV Screen? It’s still a TV screen, no matter what number of colors or contrast ratio it can offer versus previous iterations.

Sure, it’ll bring in money for Sony. It might even be a prestige (read: macho boasting) item.

But TVs are an established market.

The Sony Reader, however, has the potential of creating a new global market and impacting every country that it enters.

Does Howard Stringer understand that? Does Howard Stringer even use a Sony Reader?

Sony, it’s time to hit the accelerator. The lead you’ve enjoyed is diminishing with each day. Commit to winning!

And in:

Ken Kutaragi: Your Vindication Nears!

When you Ascend the Throne — kicking out the gaijin fool Stringer — remember to conquer the world with the Sony Reader!

The world of ebooks needs your leadership, Kutaragi! You can crush Amazon’s pitiful toy!

And in:

Sony, The New Titanic?

Yet Howard Stringer thinks he’s leading a pack of shy toadies?!

What I think is going on is this: They hate this overfed, pompous, strutting bastard.

They’re sitting on all the good stuff.

They want his ass out of there.

They will bring Sony down to the point where there is no other choice but to get rid of Stringer to save Sony itself.

The sooner the better!

That amazon stole the ebook publicity from Sony says more than any possible analysis ever could. At some point that event will be studied by business majors and business historians.

The Financial Times goes on to say:

The signs are that the Reader will go wireless too, perhaps this year: Steve Haber, head of the business, says that Sony is “open” to that idea. Sony has also tried to get one up on the Kindle by allowing owners to obtain books from other online stores and libraries.

The danger for Sony is that it is already too late. Amazon has grabbed the market-leading position from Sony and established a stronger brand, which is what happened with the iPod and the Walkman. Sony never managed to recover, despite trying repeatedly to match Apple.

“Open” to the idea?!!? I know people who worked on the Reader who wanted it to be wireless when it was first introduced in America!

Why the hell were they ignored?!

And if Haber was in charge of the Reader at that time, why the hell is he still in charge of it now? Fire his limited-vision ass. NOW!

I rant about this because I find the Kindle to be an out-and-out abomination (despite what Paul Biba has written, I’m unconvinced!).

But, ultimately, none of my ranting matters.

Because both Amazon and Sony will be crushed by Apple — if it ever makes up its mind to do ebooks!

Note: The Financial Times item requires registration. There is a trick that sometimes works. Type “Sony” (no quotes) into search. Click on the column. Sometimes it will display for free.

Previously here:
First-Time Writer Winner (And Loser!)
Writer 2.0 Notes: Blog Book Tours
Japanese Manga Comes To The iPhone
Micro Fondle: ECTACO jetBook eBook Reader
Reference: ePub Reader Software
Comic Books (Almost) Come To iPhone
The Dark Future Of The Print Publishers
Another Great Post About Publishing
Sony Tries To Do Right To Reader Pioneers
The e In eBooks = Everywhere
Reference: Book Publishing Contracts
Two Excellent Posts For Writers
Sony Still Shoots Itself In Foot
Print Is Dead. So Is Print Culture.
Twitter Truth
Print IS Dead (Well, To Some Of Us. OK: Me!)
eBook Signings: The Postcard Solution?
Reference: Creating ePub Files For eBooks
Writer John Scalzi Gives An E Vs. P Lesson
Quote: Seth Godin
The Kindle Revolution Ain’t Happening
Sony Reader Gets Some Love
Suit Bastard Print Publishers NAILED!
Sony To Kindle: Up Yours!
Reference: 100 Book/eBook Sites
What A Major FAIL In eBooks Looks Like
Reading Books Plummets In Japan Too
Apple iTunes (Store) Trademark Evolution
The Reasons Why eBooks Are Next For Apple
And So The iPod Air Is Coming After All!
eBook On An iPhone: One Example
iPhone Wireless Printing?
Reference: iPhone/iPod Touch Screen Size
More Of That Non-Existent iPhone Effect
When An Expert Uses An iPhone
iPhone eBook Reader Stanza Available
Memo To Steve Jobs: iPhone Owners READ!
iDay 2008 + 1 = LONG Lines!!!
eReader On iPhone: What It Looks Like
Southern NYC iDay 2007 In 56 Photos!
Flashback: iPhone 2007
MSI Wind = Ten-Inch Screen MacBook?
Sony’s Strange Strategy
Video: eBooks On iPhone/iPod Touch
What Apple Better Not Miss About eBooks
For God’s Sake, Get eBooks Going, Steve Jobs!
iPod Air: See You In September?
A Gadget Too Far
No iPod Air Next Week
American Tech Companies: Wake Up!
It’s Now All Down To Apple Vs. Google
Sony, The New Titanic?
Apple: You’ll Get It When You Can Sync It?
What eChanges Will High Oil Prices Bring?
Reference: iPhone/iPod Touch Backup/Sync
An Example Of iPhone/iPod Touch Keyboard Lag
The iPod Air Will Be Better …
I Said Apple Sync Was Important: Here’s Proof
eInk eBook Readers: They’re All Dead, Jim!
What’s This? iPod Air Next Month?
iPhone Continues To Swallow The Internet
Apple’s Sync Strategy Finally Arriving?
Now We Know Why Apple Bought A Chipmaker
Amazon: Already Toast
Future iPods: Piper Jaffray’s Blind Spot
Writers Don’t Fear The Future: Publishers Do!
More Bad For Sony Reader: Kindles Coming
Borders Catches Cold, Sony Reader Gets Pneumonia?
The Lesson Of Apple Isn’t New, But It Works
The Three Companies Apple Should Acquire
Apple Has Magic The Others Don’t
Apple And eBooks: Why The Delay
What’s Up With That Awful Kindle?
For The Record: Apple and eBooks
I’m No Fan Of The Kindle. Nor Is He.
Sony Reader Can Be Bought In Spain!
Memo To Steve Jobs: People DO Still Read!
Oprah, Get A Sony Reader!
Sony’s In Worse Shape Than I Thought
Ken Kutaragi: Your Vindication Nears!
The Three Big As: Apple, Amazon, Adobe
Sony Has Big eBook News Today
Oh, NOW He Believes Me!
Peak iPod: Has Apple Reached Its End?
One More Time: Apple And Ebooks
Is Apple’s Tablet The iPod Air?
Why Apple’s Design Is Excellent
Steve Jobs Is Up To Something. Probably Big.
Does Borders Know The Sony Reader Exists?
iRiver Ebook Reader?
Sony: I’m Not Alone
Does Apple Want To Be King Of Ebooks?
Sony BMG Music: DRM-Free And IQ-Free
What’s Going On With Sony And Its Reader?
Sony’s Got Something Big For Their Reader
Will New eBook Readers Finally Change The World?
Has Sony Just Lost Its eBook Battle?

At the old blog:

Will Apple Steal The eBook Limelight From Sony And Create Another Mass Market?
Oh My God This Is So Incredibly Surprising And Totally Unexpected: Sony To Close Connect Music And Video Services!!
Sony Reader Is Gaining Ground
Sony Reader Meets Inking
Purraise Da Lohrd!
Memos To Sony (Part 2 in a Series)
I Gotcher Backlight Right Ear
Memos To Sony (Part 1 in a Series)
Sony Reader: Gizmodo’s Hands All Over
Wikipedia on Sony Reader?
Sony Reader Multi-Part Report Index
Sony Reader: Part 4 (of 4)
Sony Reader: Part 3 (of 4)
Sony Reader: Part 2 (of 4)
Sony Reader: Part 1 (of 4)
i, Reader
Digital Life: What I Saw

About these ads
Explore posts in the same categories: Books - Other, eBooks, Tech - Apple, Tech - Other, Tech - Sony

4 Comments on “Sony Fumbles Its eBook Reader”


  1. [...] made it a point to tell me he had read the post in which I called for his firing(!). I stood my ground. He stood his. Malcolm summoned Security to eject [...]

  2. Terry maunder Says:

    JAN 2009.A recent convert to the Reader…PRS505….Its sad that in the uk we cannot yet access the stateside downloads from Sony.Whatever the FT says or for that matter Sony….the reader is NOT universal and therefore will miss out on growth for which has huge potential.Kindle also is not available in the UK due to Licence and possibly DRM rights….The book publishers must realise that what has happened to music will happen to them….So please add pressure to Sony to review their marketing of this very clever device in the uk and perhaps europe…..maybe if their corporate web sites called it the same name and created a new slot for it instead of being hidden in a possibly non related business sector…..it might catch up….maybe not if the leadership is as duff as you claim….

  3. mikecane Says:

    >>>Its sad that in the uk we cannot yet access the stateside downloads from Sony.

    That has to do with the neolithic rights issues of print publishing. I cannot, for example, buy things from Waterstone’s — and I’d like to, because those eBooks are in universal-standard ePub. The ones in Sony’s store here in the U.S. are mostly in Sony’s proprietary BBeB format.

    >>>Whatever the FT says or for that matter Sony….the reader is NOT universal

    But it is. It’s still the only eInk device that can read industry-standard ePub files.

    Given the damage being done to print publishing by the Internet, changes *will* have to occur. Random House is trying to move ahead, at least.

    Have some patience, enjoy the Reader. And oi, go to http://www.mobileread.com and there are *lots* of *free* eBooks you can get for the Reader in the DRM-free LRF file format. As well as some in ePub (ePub creation is generally difficult right now — as I am learning forsthand!).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: