By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
San Diego – Sony is getting out of the e-book business in North America after announcing last October that it would not offer its e-reader anymore to U.S. consumers.
The company said Kobo will provide users of Sony’s Reader, Xperia tablets and Xperia smartphones in the U.S. and Canada with its catalog of more than 4 million e-books, magazines, newspapers, graphic novels and kids content. Sony’s current Reader Store customers in the U.S. and Canada will get access to the Kobo eBookstore starting in late March, when Sony will close its Reader Store.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Seattle – Amazon today rolled out its sixth-generation e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite.
Two versions of the e-reader are on tap. The basic Paperwhite ($119) is available for pre-order now and will ship on Sept. 30. The Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G will carry a $189 price tag and will become available on Nov. 5. While it is not available for pre-order yet, those interested can sign up now to receive a notification from Amazon when pre-orders start.
Framingham, Mass. — The booming growth experienced by the tablet category is continuing to hamstring the once white hot stand-alone e-reader category.
IDC has downwardly revised its worldwide e-reader shipment forecast reporting it now expects shipments will fall an average of 14 percent per year between 2013 and 2016.
About 18.2 million e-readers shipped in 2012, down from the peak of 26.4 million in 2011. IDC does see a minor uptick in shipments through 2014 before the category begins on a slow, yet permanent, decline starting in 2015.
Bentonville, Ark. – Walmart is phasing out Amazon.com’s Kindle line of e-readers and tablets.
A memo sent to Walmart store managers dated yesterday and obtained by Reuters indicated that the discount chain will no longer carry the program once it completes its purchase commitments and depletes its inventory. The news service said Walmart confirmed the move and affirmed its commitment to the tablet and e-reader categories.
New York – Barnes & Noble posted a $41 million loss for its fiscal first quarter as Nook sales remained almost flat for the period.
The loss came on revenue of $1.45 billion for its first quarter, ended July 28, up 2.5 percent from the same period. Nook sales inched up $1 million, to $192 million.
San Diego — Sony introduced today a new Reader (model PRS-T2), a 6-inch e-reader with a touchscreen optimized for long-term reading.
The unit is available in three colors — white, red or matte black — and “offers new social features and a simplified and intuitively designed home screen,” Sony said.
New York – Barnes & Noble dropped the prices of its Nook Tablet and Nook Color e-reader/tablet.
The Nook Tablet is now available at $179 for the 8GB model, down from $199, and $199 for the 16GB version, down from $249.
The Nook Color is now available at $149, down from $169.
The price cuts are permanent and not part of a limited-time back-to-school promotion, a spokesman told TWICE.
The devices can be purchased at all of Barnes & Noble’s nearly 700 stores nationwide, online at Nook.com, and through other retailers.
The first Wi-Fi-connected e-readers are expected to officially debut at International CES in January, delivering a lower-cost alternative to 3G wireless e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle.
Second-tier suppliers Foxit, Interead (Cool-er) and Aztak are planning or considering a Wi-Fi e-reader, and two of the three said they hope to introduce the products at CES.
With e-reader sales expected to double in 2010 after a breakout 2009, at least five suppliers will launch their first models here at International CES, where a shift to wireless and mixed-use models will become apparent.
E-reader sales in 2010 are expected to double to more than 6 million units in U.S. sales to consumers, enticing such new entrants to the category as iRiver, Entourage, Audiovox (RCA), Plastic Logic and e-magazine store Skiff (a Hearst spin-off).
Aluratek plans January shipment of a big-screen portable media player (PMP) that doubles as an e-reader.
The $179-suggested Cinepal features 8.9-inch 1,024 by 600-pixel LCD screen, playback of 720p and 1080i HD video in native form, and storage of e-books. It outputs 720p to a connected TV.
The device incorporates 4GB of embedded memory, but additional memory can be added via an SD/SDHC/MMC memory card slot and USB port.