Sony readies Reader e-book app for iPhone
Coming to Android too
Sony has taken a leaf out of Amazon's e-book and is preparing e-book reader apps for both the iPhone and Android.
The app, simply called Reader, will be out next month.
It presents a similar UI to that employed by Sony's Reader line of e-book readers, and also presents the Reader Store, Sony's own online bookshop.
The Reader Store is currently online open in the US, so it'll be interesting to see how Sony translates the app for Brits. Over here, the company steers users toward e-bookshops run by Waterstones and WH Smith.
Both of these use Adobe's DRM technology to protect their ePub-format e-books, so quite apart from anything else, Sony's Reader app will hopefully allow iOS device and Android smartphone owners to view licensed content from shops other than Apple's iTunes and Amazon's Kindle Store - the latter is already available as an iOS app.
Indeed, it should allow folk to borrow DRM'd books from local libraries, almost all of which offer Adobe-shielded ePubs to borrow. ®
Watch out for Reg Hardware's investigation into the murky world of e-book pricing later this week
Sony is dead in the water
As far as I am concerned eBooks are dead in the water.
Last Christmas the missus bought me a £250 Sony Reader. I then bought a few books for it and paid what I considered to be a ‘reasonable’ price. Not reasonable when you consider that I don’t own them, can’t sell them or even loan them, but reasonable as in well, its a new thing, prices will only come down. Did they heck.
What the **** is wrong with the UK publishing industry? I am sick to my core with the current pricing structure. Try to buy an eBook with price parity a paperback. You can’t do it. In some instances, these robbing bastards want twice what you would pay for a paperback. Yes, twice to have something that has no physical substance and is gone in the blink of a hard drive crash or lost bit of kit.
Never have I felt so let down by a ‘new’ technology. EBooks promised that you could have ‘an entire authors library on one device’. Not at these bloody prices can you. I sent a letter of complaint to Waterstone’s, the reply said that I was ‘looking for niche products’. Niche? It was Peter F Hamiliton for fooks sake! Not ‘the Philosophy of Life’ by Mickey bloody Mouse.
I can think of no other technology where there has been such a concerted effort to strangle the industry at birth by fleecing the customers to such a degree. Even mp3 downloads don’t come close. At least there is near parity between a CD and a download.
I love reading. It is such a harmless yet rewarding hobby. I know what these bastards are trying to do. Introduce a new price point, get people used to it then quietly drop paperbacks. Before you know it the £15 eBook is established and there is no going back. I have never felt such contempt towards an industry (apart from those that peddle non-working mobile phones and say ‘tough’ you are on a 2 year contract’).
When did consumers become so pliable that we accept this kind of crap? I am back to paperback and the Sony can go in the bin.
(Any chance you can do a bit of investigative journalism on the great eBook rip off please please Reg?)
RE:Sony is dead in the water
Aree with you there.
I was going to get a Kindle. Ao looked at the price of books.
How can they justify either charging more or just a few pence less than a 'Real Book'
No printing costs.
No paper costs.
No transportation costs.
No warehousing costs.
Have I missed anything?
I did point out to Amazon that this attitude will push people to crack ebook DRM and to 'share' their books.
Reminds me of the music industry.
Charge a resonable price and people will buy and not try to find a way around unnessecary copy protection.
Try downloading a Kindle eBook and putting it on a Sony. Can't (legally) be done.
I am happy for you and your Kindle. Don't get me wrong, I like Amazon I buy loads from them but your Kindle books won't be that price for ever...
Look at Waterstone's. Look at WH Smith. Look at how you cannot download from the USA where prices are cheaper. Open your eyes and look at the disparity between a paperback and an eBook. Then tell me I am talking rot...
It would appear....
...that El Reg is planning exactly that investigation of which you speak.
I read a while ago that it's possible to strip the DRM from these books, and then use them as you wish. I don't know if it's true, but at least it means that you can move them from device to device once you have paid once. I'm not suggesting copying them for others, just fair use.
This idea that most of the costs in publishing are in manufacture is just ignorant and wrong. It's been put about for years by those with an agenda to push, and been debunked just as often by those who actually work in the industry.
It's pretty obvious - few industries could cope with manufacturing costs that were 80% of the retail price, and publishing is no exception. Generally, manufacturing, distribution etc. make up less than 30% of the retail price. That's why most publishers list ebooks from 30% of print price.
But don't forget that ebooks are liable to VAT, which print isn't. That pushes the price back up again.
Unless you want for some reason to suggest that publishers ought to make less money from ebooks than print? And that sounds like an agenda rather than sound business to me.
(I work in publishing, in case you hadn't noticed, and this isn't a rant at the specific commenter. I just get annoyed by this idea that, just because there's no physical product, ebooks ought to be almost free.)