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Thursday, November 25, 2010
Sony To Launch E-readers in Japan

Sony will enter Japan's electronic book market and open an online bookstore in time for the year-end shopping rush, it said on Thursday.

Sony's Reader ebook goes on sale on December 10 at about 20,000 yen for a model with a 5 inch screen (Reader Pocket Edition PRS-350 - 600 X 800 greyscale ) or 25,000 yen for a 6 inch screen (Reader Touch Edition PRS-650 - 600 X 800 greyscale).

The 5 inch Reader Pocket Edition and the 6 inch Reader Touch Edition weigh 155g and 215 g, respectively. The 5 inch model comes with a 2GB interbal memory. The 6 inch model also supports additionsl 32Gb of storage by plugging in a Memory Stick or an SD card. Other features include adjustable text size, handwritten text notes, bookmarks, quick search for stored books and translation powered by Oxford American Dictionary Second Edition. Both models offer a 14-day battery life. Supported formats include copyrighted and non-copyrighted XMDF files, EPUB files, pdf and txt files, MP3 and AAC files, JPEG, GIF, PNG and BPM files.

Sony had made another move to the Japanese e-reader market in 2007, but it had pulled out due to a lack of content.

Sony's e-readers will face the competition from Apples iPad and Sharp's Galapagos.

Sony teamed up with KDDI Corp, Toppan Printing Co and the Asahi Shimbun newspaper in May to create the electronic book distribution business from which the online store will source books.

The new firm, booklista Co., will create an open platform that allows digital reader manufacturers and content owners such as publishers to set up online bookstores by offering various services such as collecting and digitalizing contents and offering certification and billing systems, Sony, KDDI Corp., Toppan Printing Co. and Asahi Shimbun Co. said.

The company is designed to handle various kinds of content, including literature, business books and essays, and plans to expand coverage to manga, newspapers and magazines, they said.

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