San Diego - Sony announced today it will expand sales of its
e-reader to five additional countries this year.
The company would not give a specific date for the rollout, but
at some point this year readers in Japan, China, Australia, Spain and Italy
will have access to the Sony Reader.
Sony's expansion coincided with the company's belief that e-reader
sales will grow dramatically in 2010, particularly in Asia. The research firm Nomura
Holdings noted that Asian e-reader and e-book sales hit $500 million in 2009.
DisplaySearch expects China to become the leading e-reader market by 2015.
"We've hit a global tipping point in digital reading with demand
for and sales of the Reader dramatically increasing in 2009," said Steve Haber,
president of Sony Electronics' digital reading business division.