Maybe now it's an actual competition between Amazon's Kindle and Sony's forlorn "Reader" e-book.
Sony recently announced a new larger-screen model going on sale by Christmas for around $399. The Reader Daily Edition (aiming to deliver newspapers, perhaps?) has a seven-inch-wide touchscreen and includes 3G wireless service from AT&T.
But it's Sony's new software and services that are going to change the dynamic.
Sony also said it's partnering with OverDrive, a company that distributes electronic books to libraries, so Reader users will be able to "check out" free digital library books that expire at the end of the lending period. That's a much bigger deal than the earlier announcement that Sony's working with Google to bring public domain material to the Reader.
If you're a heavy book buyer looking for a digital reader, Amazon's big selection may still pull you in.
But the Kindle will be marginalized if e-books from Sony and others get enough books from a wide variety of sources, especially free and current titles from libraries. The question is, would Amazon ever make it easy to borrow instead of buy books on the Kindle?
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Explore further: Sony plans a Kindle rival with wireless downloads