Sony adds Daily Edition to e-reader line

The new e-reader will feature 3G Internet access

Sony Electronics has unveiled a third e-reader with wireless Internet access to complement two devices announced earlier.

Sony's new Reader Daily Edition, priced at about $US399, will have connectivity through AT&T's 3G mobile broadband network to Sony's ebook store, Sony said during a press conference in New York Tuesday. Users will be able to purchase and download books, newspapers and magazines, with no monthly fees or charges for basic wireless connectivity, Sony said.

Sony's Reader Touch Edition and the Reader Pocket Edition were announced earlier this month. The Touch Edition has a 6-inch touchscreen and costs $US299, and the Reader Pocket Edition, a basic e-reader with a 5-inch screen, costs $US199. The devices, intended to compete with Amazon.com's Kindle e-reader, are due to be released shortly.

E-reader customers should have broad choices, said Steve Haber, president of Sony's Digital Reading Business Division. The devices will be available in about 8,000 retail stores, and connect to several e-book stores and libraries, he said.

"It's all about access to content ... it's about expression, holding, touching and using the Sony Reader," Haber added. "We want it to be a ubiquitous experience, not locked in -- open, open, open."

The Daily Edition will have a 7-inch touch screen used for navigating and reading content, Sony said. In portrait mode, about 30 to 35 lines of text will visible, making the experience very similar to that of a printed paperback book. The e-reader will have 16 levels of grayscale resolution, and it will have an aluminum body, Sony said.

Sony on Tuesday also launched its Library Finder application. Working with OverDrive, a distributor of digital books, Sony will offer customers access to their local library's collection of e-books. Libraries working with OverDrive will offer their books through Library Finder, with e-books expiring after the end of the library's lending period.

In addition, Sony Electronics also announced new partnerships with a variety of traditional and digital publishers. The publisher sites will offer content in the EPUB format, the International Digital Publishing Forum's XML-based standard format for reflowable digital books and publications.

Sony's eBook Store already provides access to more than 1 million public domain Google Books in EPUB format, and new partnerships announced Tuesday include BooksOnBoard, a large independent e-book seller; NetGally, an online service that promotes new and upcoming titles; and Powell's Books, a large independent book seller.

Also, more than 200 members of the American Booksellers Association will be able to sell e-books to customers later this year, Sony said.

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