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Sony plans a Kindle rival with wireless downloads

Aug. 29, 2009 - 01:24PM   |   Last Updated: Aug. 29, 2009 - 01:24PM  |  
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Want to take "Band of Brothers" with you on your next deployment but don't feel like lugging around all 336 pages? Your choice of e-book readers just got wider now that Sony is jumping into the e-book ring with a new device set to rival the Kindle.

The company plans to offer an e-book reader with the ability to wirelessly download books. That adopts a key feature of the Kindle from Amazon.com and enhances the competition in a small but fast-growing market.

The $399 Reader Daily Edition will be on the market by December, Sony executives said. The device, which has a 7-inch touch screen, will be able to get books, daily newspapers and other reading material over AT&T's cellular network.

Sony has produced e-book reading devices with "electronic ink" displays for the U.S. market since 2006, but has seen most of the attention stolen by Amazon.com Inc., which launched the Kindle in 2007.

The latest version of the Kindle — which is not controlled by touching the screen — costs $299 and uses Sprint Nextel Corp.'s wireless network for downloads.

Sony recently announced a "Pocket Edition" e-book reader that retails for $199. Sony also has a $299 touch-screen model. But neither has wireless capabilities — both have to be connected to a computer to acquire books.

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