Sony Misses Major eBook Opportunity?

Sony’s First Touchscreen Walkman Revealed


Sony is set to debut a new 16 and 32GB drag and drop Walkman during CES 2009, according to trusted inside sources. This will be the most advanced music, video and photo Walkman music player ever released by Sony to date. While it was revealed before to Wired that Sony’s new Walkman would have Wi-Fi capabilities, we have now learned that Sony’s new Walkman will also be touchscreen and WQVGA. The touchscreen will not be the usual LCD, but a brilliant three inch OLED with a contrast ratio around 10k. OLED display capabilities in terms of color reproduction are far beyond the average LCD, which means 100% color reproduction across a wider viewing angle.

Emphasis added by me.

Here is what makes me angry:

Additionally, there will be a Youtube icon on the main screen that will allow full access to the website – search, pause, FF/RW included very similar to Youtube access on the iPhone/iTouch.

Wait. This is a WQVGA OLED screen with a CPU powerful enough to do YouTube video (and MP4!) — and there’s no Sony eBook software built-in?!

That doesn’t make any sense to me.

Both the BBeB and ePub file formats support reflowable text. The screen size doesn’t matter, they’ll work with it.

Sony is trapped in Western Union thinking here. Western Union famously turned away Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, thinking it was in the telegraphy business — instead of the business of communication.

Sony is trapped in thinking eBooks = Sony Reader. No! It should be eBooks Everywhere. (By the way, Sony, do you bother to bundle the eBook Library software on all desktops and notebooks? Why not?!)

Here was a way for Sony to advance eBooks and to provide an immediate alternative to the wireless abominable Kindle — and it’s been lost.

Why not offer it as a future downloadable upgrade?

Since this will have a built-in web browser and WiFi, people should be able to access Project Gutenberg and other sites that offer web access to eBooks and could read that way.

But a major opportunity has been missed here!

Explore posts in the same categories: Books - Other, eBooks, Tech - Other, Tech - Palm

2 Comments on “Sony Misses Major eBook Opportunity?”

  1. Karlos Says:

    You’re spot on there Mike.

    Sony have had the best cheap ebook reader on the market for years with millions in the hands of people around the globe… the PSP.

    They could have tweaked the firmware to make the reading experience much better (bookmarks etc) but it’s still a serviceable device if you don’t mind reading in it’s browser.

    In fact if they put a eBook Library ‘lite’ on it I’m sure they’d ‘get a flow on to the full reader, and they already have an online store direct link for downloads!

    Talk about missed opportunities!

  2. mikecane Says:

    *banging head on desk*

    See, I’m a spazz at just about all games that involve movement, so I tend to forget there are tons of PlayStation Portables out there. You are For The Win here.

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