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Sony Intros 3G e-Reader

8/25/2009 12:01:30 PM Eastern

New York
- Sony Electronics today launched a new 3G-equipped e-reader that will ship in
time for the holiday selling season.

The company also announced a partnership with the New York City
Public Library system that gives library patrons access to the system's e-books.

The Sony Reader Daily Edition, $399 and shipping in December, is
the company's first reader to offer 3G wireless connectivity. The device has a
7-inch display and can sync with a Mac or PC.

It will use AT&T's 3G system, although there will be no
charge for data connectivity, Sony said.

The Daily Edition joins two other recent additions to the Sony
line - the $199 Pocket
Edition
and the $299 Touch
Edition
. The former has a 5-inch display, can hold 350 e-books and will
operate for two weeks on a single charge, Sony said.

Sony e-readers
From Left, Sony's Pocket Edition, Touch Edition and Daily Edition e-readers.

The Touch Edition adds a 6-inch touchscreen and a built-in
dictionary. The Pocket Edition uses buttons along the device's sides to access
the content.

Both ship at the end of August.

The e-readers will receive general distribution and will be found
in 8,000 storefronts later this year, said Steve Haber, president of Sony's
digital reading business division.

Sony today also launched the 3.0 version of its e-book library
software along with several new e-book accessories, including an attachable
light. It has greater annotation capabilities and lets the user print out
notes.

In addition to working with the New York Public Library, Sony has
created a new area in its e-book store called the Library Finder. Here, readers
can discover if their local library has e-book downloads. Such content will
typically remain accessible on the e-reader for 21 days.

Dr. Paul LeClerc, president and CEO of the New York Public
Library, said the library has 40,000 downloadable titles, and 250,000
electronic downloads took place last year. Overall, the library's Web site
received 25 million visits, compared with the 17.5 million people who
physically walked into the building.

A patron only needs a library card for access to the electronic
catalog, which can be obtained on the library's Web site.

LeClerc said the library is also working with Google's online
book project and expects to scan in 1 million books, many of which will be
available for the Sony Readers.

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