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Sony looks to revamp Reader range

Published 
15 Jul 2011
sony reader

Will beat its own tablets to market with new eReaders

Sony has plans to fight back against the popularity of Amazon's Kindle eReader range with a line of upgraded devices to launch as early as next month.

Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg, Sony's Phil Lubell - vice president in charge of digital reading at the electronics giant - confirmed that a range of hardware and software improvements are due.

The move can't come soon enough: despite being one of the pioneers of the concept of eReaders with sunlight-readable electrophoretic displays, Sony has seen its market share crumble as consumers flock to rival devices like Amazon's Internet-connected Kindle.

The introduction of touch-screen functionality, which should have helped drive sales of Sony's eReaders, caused more harm than good when buyers found the touch-sensitive film making the display harder to read than on previous button-based editions.

The move comes as Sony plans to launch a pair of Android-based tablets, the S1 and S2. Should Lubell's comments prove true, that will give Sony a chance at both ends of the market: the eReader will target consumers on a budget or those who spend the majority of their time reading, while the tablets will offer full Internet access and video support on a colour display.

So far, Sony hasn't detailed exactly what its revamped Readers will offer, but integrated Internet - like the Kindle - will almost certainly make an appearance.

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