The battle between Sony and Amazon for an edge in the digital books market just got a little more interesting: Five weeks after Amazon unveiled its Kindle 2 e-book reader, Sony is set to announce today a deal with Google that will make a half million public domain books available on its Reader e-book device.
At an elaborate, much-hyped presentation at the Morgan Library in New York City yesterday, Amazon unveiled the Kindle 2, an improved version of its popular e-book reader. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says the upgraded device, which will be available February 24 and will carry a price tag of $359, has more memory, faster page turning, a sharper display, and a longer battery life than its predecessor, which was launched in 2007.
Sony Corporation announced yesterday the launch of the Sony Reader, a device for reading electronic books. The $350 Reader, which weighs nine ounces and is roughly the size of a trade paperback book, can hold approximately eighty digital books.
Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos yesterday announced the launch of Kindle, an e-book reader that his company has spent the last three years developing. Kindle, which retails for $399, weighs 10.3 ounces and can hold two hundred books at once.
Now that the explosive growth of the dot-com industry has abated, many are wondering if the same fate awaits electronic publishing. At the annual Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, where a sober crowd gathered in October 2001, just weeks after the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., the Pollyannaish predictions of recent years about e-books were replaced by a more uncertain tone.