Sony was one of the early players in the eReader space. The first Sony Reader products offered a way to read digital books on a portable device with an E Ink screen and long battery life several years before Amazon launched the first Kindle.

But last year Sony decided not to offer its latest eReader in the US or Canada. Earlier this year the company shut down its digital book store in those regions. And now it looks like Sony may be pulling the plug on its eBook reader line altogether.

sony prs-t3

According to Good Ereader the Sony PRS-TR3 is now discontinued, and according to a report from Lesen.net there are no plans to replace it with a new model.

The move’s not entirely shocking. Sales of dedicated eBook readers have slowed as tablets have become popular. Many folks who are interested in eBooks simply read them on a tablet (which can also handle games, videos, web browsing, and other tasks) rather than on a dedicated device.

Sure, there’s still some demand for eBook readers like the Kindle Paperwhite or Sony PRS-T3. These devices have high-contrast grayscale displays which can be read in direct sunlight and they have very low power consumption which allows you to go weeks or even months between charges. But the eReader market is a niche market… and one that’s pretty much dominated by Amazon.

Sony’s had a rough few years and the company recently spun off its PC business as an entirely separate company in order to focus on more profitable products including smartphones and tablets. So it’s not surprising to see the company kill of its eReader line… even if it’s a bit disappointing.

via The Digital Reader

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12 replies on “Reports: Sony getting out of the eReader business”

  1. At least it appears Digital Paper isn’t part of their E-reader unit.

  2. Sony eReaders which have been really expensive with DRM and with only som few typ es IF excepting file-formats.
    Sony, is not right company for this eReaders!

  3. I prefer to read on ereader eink screens but found it to be too much hassle to buy and manage the content with the ereader and the bundled software/bloatware was substandard and wasn’t updated regularly enough. Ereader makers should take a step back and scale down their ambitions. Make a very stupid eink screen that only displays what an android phone tells it (over bluetooth) to display. Plus buttons/gestures to change page, zoom and a few more things. All settings and all the processing and file handling should outsourced to the android device. I would buy a bunch of such stupid eink devices, if they got to market at the right price point.

    1. I’d go the other way, I’d prefer to see e-ink devices go from these incredibly limited things to essentially a full e-ink tablet. Books just aren’t my main source of reading, that title goes to websites and yet android e-ink devices are rare things.

      1. But e-ink can’t show video content!
        E-ink is to slow for showing video content.
        Amazon acquired Liquavista from Samsung last year.
        Liquavista use similar tech as the american company GammaDynamics.
        Liquavista is a spin-off from Philips N.V which sold it to Samsung Display in 2011.
        So,Liquavista electrowetting tech will be a much better tech for eReaders than E-ink.

      2. Agreed, I have a Kobo eReader and it can already browse the web and do a few extra stuff, which is neat. Though I’d hope for a better support of homebrew and external apps.
        I’m not sure if Android is the right solution (apps are not optimized for eReader), but an app store would be nice.

        Of course, it wouldn’t be for watching videos and having a fancy UI with animations. But reading (RSS/websites, emails, ebooks…) is what I do for most of my computer usage.
        For websites, no need for plugins (java/flash). Moreover, because of the limited resources and the trash most websites send at us nowadays, a whitelist for javascript (NoScript style) is required.

      3. But the more feature rich the device is the more expensive it will be and the more parts of it will need update channels. A lot of eink makers have flirted with “extra features” but none of them seem to take off. A “stupider” bluetooth eink device that shows what the separate android phone tells it to display could be used for browsing websites too. All the device needs to do is show the image the phone sends and then send back button clicks and coordinates for clicks and gestures on the touchscreen. No updates to deal with, no separate apps to install on the eink device. The phone would take that input, download and process content and then push it to the screen. That way the devices could be made cheaper and users could have several ones for multi screen use. The phone could display different browser tabs on different eink screens, for example. Think of it as having multiple sheets of paper on a table in front of you.

  4. @sony you should not discontinue ereader market. keep it low profile or even merge it as an xperia department sidekick. there are amazing lot of opportunities and possibilities in this sector.

  5. It would be both a nod to the modding community and a great way to reduce e-waste if Sorny made available the firmware after fully discontinuing support for a product such as this.

    1. Michael, this is Sony after all. It’s not going to happen. They’ll just abandon their users as soon as warranties expire.

Comments are closed.