In what I think is pretty cool news, today Sony announced their new e-reader called the “Reader Daily Edition”. This new e-reader by Sony is figured to compete with Amazon’s Kindle, or at least kick some real competition in a market that is nearly controlled by the Kindle. The new Sony Daily Edition will have some pretty impressive features as well. First, it will feature 3G wireless through AT&T. This is an almost must have feature so that users can download books at will. This feature on the Kindle is awesome as it allows you to get books, newspapers and magazines whenever and where ever you like. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at home, wanted a new book, but didn’t want to go all the way to Barnes & Noble or wait for Amazon to deliver it. Instant gratification, gotta love it.

The new Daily Edition will also include a 7-inch touch screen. This is one thing the Kindle lacks; a touch-screen interface, so I think this is a clear winner for Sony. The Daily Edition will also take advantage of open source materials with a new feature called the “Library Finder”. This allows you to access local library materials and download free books offered through your library. Right now it is a pain to do this through most local libraries and the interfaces are generally horrible. What a great idea, kudos Sony! Finally having some real competition in this platform will only mean good things for the consumer. It’s hard to say what the user experience will be, battery life, etc, but having a decent product that competes with the hefty price-tag of the Kindle is good. The Daily Edition is getting good reviews everywhere:

“Sony has given the market what everyone was waiting for in terms of a wireless device,” says Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester analyst who has been covering e-readers. “Not only that, they have gone one step further, and shown their latest product is no copycat of the Kindle.”

So, what is the price tag on the new Daily Edition? A hefty $399! Ouch. This will be interesting to see how it plays out because the latest Kindle is selling for $299, a $100 reduction over it’s introduction price and cheaper then the Daily Edition will be. However, maybe the “newness” factor of the Sony gadget will push early adopters to pay the extra Benjamin.

While there may be real competition, when it comes down right to it, the big difference maker is going to be in content. Right now Amazon can really leverage the fact that they are one of the largest sellers of books in the world. This allows them to offer consumers a huge number of books to choose from. Sony has adopted the e-pub standard, which is an open sourced publishing format, while Kindle has a closed, proprietary system. Ultimately the e-pub/open source format is going to be more beneficial for consumers because it allows us to choose which device we want to use and read books anywhere. Kindle’s closed system is very Web 1.0ish and a hindrance, but how do you compete with their selection?

These will be questions Sony must answer as they try to keep up with Amazon, and we might see another competitor in this area of gadgetry, namely Apple. Rumors have abounded for years, but it seems that Apple is getting closer and closer to releasing a tablet like device that would also dub as an e-reader. Personally, if what I hear is true, I’m going to wait until Apple reveals their tablet before I purchase the Sony Daily Edition, however, I must admit that I’m very tempted, this looks like a very nice device.

Sony Unveils the Daily Edition