During an event at the main branch of the New York Public Library this morning, Sony unveiled the newest version of its eBook Reader, the Daily Edition ... which will have built-in free wireless capability via AT&T's 3G mobile broadband network.
The three new Readers side-by-side: Pocket, Touch, and Daily Edition
The new Reader, to sell for $399, will be available by December, just in time for the holidays, at SonyStyle stores and via sonystyle.com. The Daily Edition will feature a 7-inch touchscreen, and a high contrast ratio with 16 levels of grayscale; you can read in either portrait or landscape orientation. It will have enough onboard memory to hold over 1,000 standard ebooks and is also expandable via Memory Stick / Duo and SD card slots.
The company also had a number of its newly available Pocket and Touch Readers ... ; those readers ($199 and $299, respectively) are available now for purchase. Each of the Sony Readers employs the E Ink Vizplex electronic paper display.
Sony also announced its Library Finder app, developed in partnership with Overdrive.com. Users of Sony's eBook Store will be able to easily locate their local libraries online, and using their library cards, download free ebook content. When the lending period is up, the content simply expires. Also new is a Web site for book lovers called Words Move Me a social networking site of sorts where readers will be able to connect and post favorite passages from literary works. Eventual Facebook and Twitter integration is promised.
Dr. Paul LeClerc, president and CEO of the NYPL, ... detailed Sony's partnership with libraries to provide free digital contentto all versions of the Sony Reader. Currently, he said, the library offers over 40,000 downloadable titles and is in partnership with Google's book-scanning initiative, with the goal of digitizing over 1 million titles. "We believe it must be delivered free," he stressed.
Steven Haber, president of Sony's Digital Reader Business Division, ... emphasized the importance of access, content, and affordability for ebook readers. He mentioned that Sony is moving from a proprietary ebook format to ePub's format, which will streamline the publishing process immensely.