Sony pulls the plug on its e-reader

In yet another sad news for Sony, the Japanese company has announced that production for their e-reader will cease after transferring its ebook business to Kobo.

“Final production of the current Reader model, PRS-T3, was made at the end of May,” a spokeswoman for Sony in Tokyo has written in an email. She also added that the products will be available for purchasing while stocks last and that there there no plans to manufacture more or design replacement.

Launched last year, the 6-inch PRS-T3 weighs 200 grams and has a battery life of six to eight weeks. It was make available in 20 countries except in the US.

The Japanese company was actually the first to come up with an e-reader using e-ink display that made long-time reading easier and extended the battery life. Amazon’s Kindle however eventually took over the e-reader market and since then has held its place with their huge range of ebook titles.

Earlier this year, Sony has also announced they are shedding their Vaio PC business to a Japanese investment firm as the company struggles to keep up with their restructuring efforts.

Kindle Paperwhite brings back the good old days of e-reading

Amazon’s Kindle line has been in the market since 2007 with the original e-reader having a monochrome E-Ink display. This device was primarily for e-book reading and nothing else. What was great bout that first Amazon Kindle is the great battery life and simplicity of the device.

Fast forward to 2012 where the latest Kindle Fire HD Tablet wants to put its mark on the tablet market place.

But there is the Kindle Paperwhite. This e-reader shows that Amazon still knows what an e-reader is.

The Kindle Paperwhite is a better version of the Kindle Touch, which was released last year. Unlike the Kindle Fire HD, the Kindle Paperwhite thrives for e-book reading.

It is thinner, shorter and narrower than the Kindle Touch. Unfortunately, Amazon removed the headphone jack and speakers on the Kindle Paperwhite. So say goodbye to listening to MP3s and audiobooks.

The Kindle Paperwhite has a much improved screen contrast and resolution and Amazon added illumination for better reading in poor lighting conditions. It still measure about 6 inches diagonally.

Just in time for the Holidays, the Kindle Paperwhite is a perfect gadget for you if you would only want to read and read and not do multiple things on your device.

Image Source: wired.com

Barnes & Noble releases two new Nook devices

Barnes & Noble, the United States biggest bookstore chain, has released their new line of Nook tablets a few months before the holiday season.

The 7-inch Nook HD tablet and the 9-inch variant will hit the shelves before Apple releases their latest iPad.

The company faces tough competition from other tablet makers, including Amazon and the iPad which have been leading the tablet race for quite some time.

The 7-inch Nook HD boasts of an 8GB memory and will retail at $199, while the 9 inch Nook HD will have a 32GB memory and will be priced at $299.

The new Nook tablets will have a feature that will enable every member of the family access to the device. If you have young children who love to read ebooks, you can prevent them from reading R-rated novels by tweaking the parental controls.

Barnes & Noble first launched their nook device back in 2009 and has since revolutionized the device. The Nook has about 30% of the US ebook market.

Pre-orders for the latest Nook will begin today and shipping will start on October and will hit the shelves of American stores this November.

So what will you choose: the iPad, Nook or Kindle?

Image Source: blog.laptopmag.com

Walmart stops selling Amazon products

Amazon has faced a few setbacks in recent years. But Walmart’s decision to stop selling Amazon products may deal a big blow to the American retail and electronics company.

According to a spokesperson of Walmart, “Recently, Walmart Stores, Inc. made a business decision to not carry current Amazon products beyond our purchase commitments and existing inventory.”

“Our customers trust us to provide a broad assortment of products at everyday low prices, and we approach every merchandising decision through this lens,” he added.

The order to stop selling Amazon products was delivered to store managers last Wednesday. This includes all the Kindle devices.

The reason to pull out Amazon products in their stores is strictly business decision.

The Walmart spokesperson added, “We will continue to offer our customers a broad assortment of tablet, eReaders and accessories at a variety of great price points. This decision is consistent with our overall merchandising strategy.”

Target has also decided to pull the plug on selling the Kindles. This is the second big company to do so.

Walmart still continues to sell Barns & Noble Nook, Apple’s iPad and other tablets.

Do you think this would greatly affect the sales of Amazon products most especially that the Holiday season is just around the corner?

Image Source:stargazette.com

Amazon teams up with Google on new Kindle Fire

Amazon is going ballistic, as the company unveiled a number of devices in their bid to dethrone other tablets out of their lofty perch.

The company did not only reveal new members of their Kindle Fire line. In fact, Amazon was able to unveil new sets of devices that the company hopes they could make a major breakthrough in the tech world.

Focusing on their new Kindle Fire models: the 7 inch, 8.9 inch and 4G LTE version Kindle Fire, the company has teamed up with Google to help power their new tablets.

A spokesperson from the company confirmed that these devices will be running on Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Android 4.1 Jellybean fans may be saddened by these news, but Ice Cream Sandwich isn’t that bad at all. Though there is still no use yet as to updating the devices OS, at least these new Kindle Fire tablets now run on Android. And that is the good news.

As for the Kindle Paperwhite, it is still unclear whether it’s going to run on Android. Hopefully, Amazon will release a statement regarding on the operating system of the latter.

Is this a great move by Amazon to team up with Google?

Image Source: gearburn.com

Your Nexus 7 pre-order may soon be at your doorstep

Good news to those who have pre-ordered their Google Nexus 7 tablets from Google Play. It seems like you will be receiving your device soon as an automated phone message on Google’s support line is saying that shipment for those who have pre-ordered the Nexus 7 have already begun.

The message says that pre-orders are scheduled to ship within the next three days. If your Nexus 7 tablet is shipped, you will receive an email confirmation and the tracking number of the package.

The Nexus 7 tablet is priced at $199 and is being pitted against the likes of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet and the Nook Tablet of Barnes & Noble.

The Nexus 7 is pre-installed with the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS and has access to all the apps in Google’s Play Store and from Amazon.

Compared with other tablets in the market, the Nexus 7 packs a higher resolution screen and a faster processor.

But if you check the Google Play page, it says that the Nexus 7 will be shipped weeks from now, specifically 1-2 weeks.

The Nexus 7 tablet was designed to have a better battery life. Google says that owners can enjoy up to 9 hours of HD video playback, 10 hours of web browsing experience and 10 hours of e-reading for one single charge.

Let’s see what Google has to offer then!

Image Source: androidauthority.com

Nexus soon to launch tablet?

We’ve had the Nexus 1, the Nexus S, and a Galaxy Nexus. The Nexus series of phones, which are supposed to provide the default Android experience without any manufacturer software changes. These would be the phones to get if you want the fastest updates with the highest compatibility with the Android Operating system.
The Nexus line has so far only focused on the Phone market. That is about to change, as Eric Schmidt confirmed last December the release of a Nexus 7 – an all-purpose tablet, aimed to beat the popularity of the Kindle fire by competing in prices. This tablet is rumored to arrive this week!

The Nexus 7 is believed to be developed mainly by ASUS. This would come as no surprise because of ASUS’ success in providing cheap, yet high quality tablets that really sell. Yes, we are talking about the original ASUS  Transformer. This would make them a logical partner in creating a powerful low price tablet.

Specs and features were eventually ‘leaked’ and discovered by the community. What we knowm so far is that will be a 7-inch tablet, a direct competitor to the cheap e-book readers by Amazon (Kindle Fire) and Barnes and Noble (Nook). It will have the standard 1GB of RAM, and would feature 8 GB or 16 GB models. There is also much faith put in that it will also sport a higher resolution, hopefully around 1280 x 800. This would be better than the Kindle Fire, which only sports 1024 x 600. The kicker is of course, for a Nexus device, the Operating System. Rumors and leaks suggest that the release of the Nexus 7 will be the dawn of the release of Android 4.1 codenamed: Jelly Bean. This will be a huge bonus, as the Kindle Fire only sports a restricted version of Android.

Since this is made by ASUS, and focuses on the tablet experience, it is expected that the tablet would run with the Tegra 3 or something better. This would effectively make this tablet a powerful all-in-one e-reader, productivity tool and gaming console package, which will be hopefully cheap,too. We hope ASUS will not let us down.

To further bolster the campaign for NFC adaptation, Google is bound to make sure that it will sport an NFC chip and allow it to use Google wallet. Google will also make sure that they will be directly responsible with the management and update of the Nexus 7’s software – something we wish they would do for all phones.

The Kindle fire currently retails at around $199. If the Nexus 7 is to beat that, it has to be the same price, or slightly lower. With the expected specs of the Nexus 7, there shouldn’t even be a problem if the device is just the same price as the Kindle Fire. With that kind of price to beat, it would be rather foolish to hope that the Nexus 7 will have phone features just like the 7 inch Galaxy Tabs. That being said, I would like to be foolish as I wish for this ability to be included in the tablet. What can I say? A 7 inch phone is attractive to me.

The fact of the matter is, the Nexus 7 is going to arrive sooner or later. It has already been confirmed by Schmidt himself. We are not sure how big a wave it will make, but it will be a tough challenge for Amazon to top that with the next Kindle. This begs the question who bought a whole bunch of Kindle Fires during the holidays. Will you be willing to switch over to the Nexus 7? Or will you be rooting and waiting for Amazon’s next move in the tablet market?

Image sources: gsmarena.com, android.com, netbooknews.com, redmondpie.com, wired.com

Amazon pulls out 5,000 titles from Kindle store

Amazon is pulling out at least 5,000 titles of the shelves after they failed to reach an agreement with Independent publish Group (IPG) over terms of a new contract. The latter is the second largest independent book distributor in the US and has been in the business for 41
Chicago Tribune reported that Amazon began pulling out IPG titles last Monday when discussions between the two companies seemed to break down. The e-books are the only once years.

 

affected as print editions are still available in Amazon.

In a published email, IPG president Mark Suchomel blamed Amazon for the outcome of the talks. He accused the latter of placing pressure on publishers and distributors in the hope of getting a better deal.

According to the email, “Our electronic book agreement recently came up for renewal, and Amazon took the opportunity to propose new terms for electronic and print purchases that would have substantially changed your revenue from the sale of both. It’s obvious that p

 
The losers of this botched deal are the end users or the customers. They will be neglected of purchasing a piece of those 5,000 titles.ublishers can’t continue to agree to terms that increasingly reduce already narrow margins.”

Amazon has not commented on the issue as of the moment.

Barnes & Noble to release new Nook eBook reader in spring

The New York Times published an article last Sunday regarding Barnes & Nobles taking on Amazon. It stated that they are “putting the final touches on their (Barnes & Noble’s) fifth e-reading device, a product that executives aid would be released sometime this spring”.

Unfortunately, the popular newspaper wasn’t able to get any comment from a representative from the company.

This could possibly be a new tablet. It can also be an affordable e-ink e-reader that can retail to about $50. Or it could even be an e-reader that has a Qualcomm power-efficient Mirasol color display that is now being used by e-readers in Korea and China.

Can this new e-reader be a part of the Nook’s launch outside US? Barnes & Noble is rumored to making this gamble and the Times article said that it is “expected to be a Waterstones bookstores in Britain.” Though they haven’t revealed any date as of yet but at least there is some glimmer of hope that its release could have this new feature.

It’s good to note that Barnes & Noble will continue to redesign their stores. This according to CEO William Lynch. They will investing in smaller stores and eliminate DVD and music sections while not completely removing them from their line-up as they will only move it to other stores.

Apple to release a more Expensive iPad?

Taiwanese tech site DigiTimes reaffirmed their assessment that the rumored release of the third installation of the iPad could bring the prices of tablets even higher.

The website was firm in their belief that Apple will be releasing newer versions of their iPad aimed at “high-end segment” and “the midrange” while still offering their iPad 2.

They said that, “with the existing iPad 2, the Apple tablet series may cover all price-segments-from entry-level to high-end. Apple’s pricing strategy for its iPad series is crucial to the tablet market. It remains to be seen at what price level Apple will set its entry-level iPad. For Wi-Fi-only models, U.S. $299, U.S. $349 or U.S. $399 may all be possible.”

There used to be a $299 iPad before. It was Apple’s first generation tablet and only sold at fire sale prices through other carriers after they released their latest version which is the iPad 2.

After the subsequent rise of Apple’s tablets, rivals have come upfront and challenged them. Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which debuted last year, sold at $199. Though not as great as the latest iPad, it sold at half of the latter’s price. And reports have been circulating that the Fire sold over a million tablets a week last December.

Apple didn’t budge and it seems like they are not much affected by the rise of the Android tablets. Apple still sells the iPad at the same rate as they did before. Their 16GB model with Wi-Fi is pegged at $499.

Though Apple makes price cuts in their products, it is but a rare instance when they do. This includes the time when they gave a $200 discount on their original iPhone two months after its release. Then there was the $500 price off the first-gen MacBook Air.