Sony to shut down Reader store: customers will move to Kobo

sony to shut down reader storeAnd another one bites the dust.

I just received an email from the Sony store announcing that they are closing the store in the U.S. and Canada as of March 20, 2014. All customers will be transferred to Kobo. Here’s the relevant paragraph from the email:

You don’t have to do anything right now, and you’ll be able to re-download your previously purchased eBooks for a limited time. In late March, you will receive a notification from us with a link that will allow you to transfer your library to Kobo. Whether you are new to Kobo or already have an account, you’ll be able to transfer your Reader Store eBooks to your Kobo account so you’ll continue to have access to them in the future. Plus, any existing Reader Store credits you might still have in your account will transfer to your Kobo account to use at the Kobo Store. And of course, you can continue to use your Sony Reader to read eBooks from Kobo.

The press release and a short piece is on Digital Book World. Looks like the reason is that Sony is withdrawing from the ebook market in North America. Not surprising since the previous Sony reader was unexciting in features and was never released in the U.S. (Thanks, Nate for confirming that for me in your article.)

All in all, not a big surprise. While Sony used to have fantastic hardware, their store has never been exciting, and their hardware has been slipping of late. According to the DBW article, the Kobo reader will be pre-installed on select Sony tablets.

I do hope the Sony–>Kobo transfer goes more smoothly than Fictionwise–>B&N went.

7 Comments on Sony to shut down Reader store: customers will move to Kobo

  1. Elsewhere, I read that Sony is also looking to exit the PC business as mobile devices are predicted to overtake even laptops in sales.

  2. borax99 (Alain C.) // February 6, 2014 at 2:50 pm //

    Yep, Sony is selling its VAIO line to a Japanese company – but the bad news is once the deal is done (sometime in March assuming no bumps in the road) they will focus first and foremost on the Japanese market.

  3. I haven’t bought anything from Sony since “Most people don’t even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?”. I hope this is just one more step along the road to the end of the company.

  4. Any chance Sony tweaks the free 3G on the old 9xx models to hit Kobo’s store?

    Hopefully this has no impact on the Digital Paper rollout…

  5. As long as Canada is included, I am happy. I did not buy many books from them, but after being excluded from B&N’s rescue (from whom I bought tons) I would be thrilled to see my few Sony purchases transfer over.

  6. Dang. Sony was the only company I found who would sell you an individual issue of the New York Times instead of making you subscribe… Sunday Times for 99 cents was such a deal!

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