Sony eReaders to hit Australia this month


After some time hinting it would do so, Japanese electronics giant Sony has finally committed to bringing several of its eReader line-up to Australia, partnering with giant retail chain Borders to do so.

Sony’s 5″ Pocket Edition Reader and its 6″ Touch Edition will both come to Australia in “early September”, the company announced today. Both devices feature 16 level grayscale e-ink screen and 2GB of internal memory, are Mac and PC compatible and support a number of file formats.

The Pocket Edition will go for a recommended retail price of $229, while the larger Touch Edition — which has additional features, such as an audio player and the ability to take a SD/MS card for additional storage — will cost $299.

Sony’s Australian chief Carl Rose claimed digital reading had hit a tipping point globally.

“The digital reading revolution has come to Australia and will change the landscape of our local reading industry,” he said. “We’re anticipating strong consumer demand for eBooks and look forward to launching our Reader devices, which are lightweight, portable and provide a comfortable reflective display for the most natural reading experience.”

The statement said that Sony’s devices have been set up to provide “simple navigation” to the online bookstores of REDGroup Retail, which owns the Borders and Angus & Robertson brands locally.
The news comes as there has been an influx of eReaders into the Australian market over the past year.

Local retailer Kogan Technologies launched its own device over the past several months, coming after REDGroup Retail brought the Kobo eReader into Australia to widespread interest. Amazon also ships the Kindle locally, and smaller players like Laser also have a presence.

A key problem for local retailers remains getting better availability of eBooks for the devices. REDGroup Retail has vowed to push hard to break through the tricky licensing agreements required to make the content available in digital formats.

Image credit: Sony


  1. Oh, this will make things much simpler. We’ll have access to Sony Readers (at last), but not to the Sony bookstore which all other Sony Readers access.

    I had a taste of this exclusion politics recently, when I noticed that Sony Reader was finally available for Mac. I was delighted, because Sony results were always coming up on ebook searches, but I’d never been able to make use of them. So I downloaded the (large) file, ran the (very slow) installation, then struggled through the (confusing) setup.

    It was only at the end of Stage 3 that I discovered I couldn’t use the app.

    Nowhere on the app. details pages did it say that it was only usable if you lived in the U.S. or Canada (and for most books, only the U.S.), but I eventually found this fact in a FAQ.

    I suppose one could go through all this simply to have access to yet another Adobe-DRM ePub reader. ???

    The Sony ebookstore has a wonderful range, and ebook forums are full of happy users extolling the integration between the Sony Reader and the ebookstore.

    After years of waiting, what do we get? The Reader without the bookstore.

    Borders is making a genuine attempt to provide a viable ebookstore for Australia, and despite their serious need for GUI love, they’re starting to provide a competitive range. However, supporting yet another e-reader indelibly associated with a locked, overseas bookstore is simply confusing.

  2. bought a sony reader for my partener for xmas, was told at the sony centre in melbourne of their ease of use and all the features and also of their huge library. have had it for a few days little bit of pc no how required to first be able to sign up to all the required bookstores and get an adobe id only to find out the you are unable to download books from the reader store. at no time was this information put forward to me that sony has done a deal to release all the books through two bookstores and that i would be unable to access the books on the reader site, in fact the reader site was used as a selling point. if you need a dictionary the sony is useful otherwise you may as well get a kobo with wi-fi cheaper and access to the same books which isn’t many. it’s the same as if apple released th ipod without i tunes. very annoyed.

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