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Sony returning to e-reader market in Japan

After leaving Japan's e-reader market in 2007, Sony is coming back to give it another go starting on December 10.

One might have thought Sony was selling e-readers on its home turf. But it actually abandoned Japan's e-reader market in 2007 and is only now returning with its new touch-screen models, which go on sale there December 10.

The Sony PRS-350 is going Japanese on December 10. Sony

The price for the 5-inch Pocket Edition PRS-350 will be 20,000 yen ($240) and the Touch Edition PRS-650 will cost 25,000 yen ($299). Reuters reports Sony will launch with 20,000 Japanese-language titles in its e-book store and hopes to sell "300,000 Readers in the first year and win half the domestic market by 2012."

Currently, Sony's biggest Reader competitor in Japan is Apple's iPad. But Sharp will soon release a couple of tablets under its new Galapagos brand, and Amazon looms on the horizon.

Sony Electronics Senior Vice President Fujio Noguchi said, "Japan has the potential to become the world's second- or third-largest market for e-readers, but there are some complex aspects to the market." Some of these involve a rather "cautious attitude by publishers," which continue to limit the number of digital books sold in Japan.

(Via Reuters)