The Sony Reader is supposed to drum up business for Sony’s pathetically understocked bookstore, which now offers a mere 10,000 or so titles.
But could statistics from Apple be bad news? Turns out that iPods are not driving iTunes traffic as much as expected.
While the Reader displays e-books, rather than being used mainly to play music, the same situation could arise—the failure of the hardware to be as big a contributor to content sales as expected. Only, things could be worse than at Apple, which has succeeded with both iTunes and the iPod. Remember—the Sony store dispenses titles only in the proprietary BBeB format, and for now, BBeB runs just on the Sony Reader and the PCs you’re using with it.
Of course, Sony may well try to get the BBeB format running on different mobile platforms, but then it will clash head-on with Mobipocket and eReader—which have popular formats with more titles than Sony does.