Sony Reader: American HQ

Sony says U.S. sales of Reader are taking off

Sony has consolidated its digital-book efforts at its North American headquarters in San Diego, relocating hardware and software operations for its Reader electronic book device from Japan.

The company declined to say how many employees made the move from Japan.

While consumers in the United States often lag behind their counterparts in Japan in adopting new technologies, in this case it’s the opposite, said Steve Haber, president of Sony’s Digital Reading Business Division.

Because the device is selling better in the United States, it made sense to merge operations here, Haber said.

Industry analysts say the Reader is being outsold by upstart competitor the Amazon Kindle, which features a wireless link for e-book purchases from Amazon.com.

But Haber takes exception to recent published reports that said the Reader sales are only a fraction of the 380,000 Kindles expected to be sold by the end of the year.

Neither Sony nor Amazon release sales numbers.

“We’ve sold hundreds of thousands of Readers and millions of electronic books,” Haber said. “We’re happy with the sell-through.”

Emphasis added by me.

And here is the crucial plan-for-the-future bit:

Haber said Sony plans to add wireless at some point, but it will not lock readers in to any one retailer.

“It will be consistent with our open platform,” he said.

Emphasis added by me.

Enjoy your abominable Kindle, Oprah. Until the day comes when you ask these questions (and you will!):

1) Why can’t I get that book for my Kindle?

2) Why can’t my Kindle read that (ePub) book?

3) What do you mean, I’d have to buy my eBooks all again for a Sony Reader?

And as for #3, Oprah, think of all those devoted fans of yours you led into that corner too. How about reimbursing them for your mistake?

— via Medialoper

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