Still No Sony PRS-T3 in the US – Does Anyone Care?

Sony PRS-T3 Release

Tomorrow it will be two weeks to the day when Sony announced the PRS-T3 ebook reader at IFA in Berlin. Two weeks later, and the Sony PRS-T3 is still unavailable for purchase in the United States. In fact it isn’t even mentioned anywhere at all, nor is it available for pre-order; the US Sony website only lists last year’s PRS-T2.

Meanwhile the Sony PRS-T3 is for sale and shipping now in several countries in Europe. Same goes for Canada. Even the Australian Sony store has them in stock and ready to go. It seems the US is the only country that Sony sells ereaders to where you can’t get a PRS-T3.

This is the exact opposite of how ereader releases usually go down for Sony. The US usually gets first dibs on new models; this is the first time Sony has focused on other parts of the world first. Is their US market share really that bad?

There is definitely something more going on behind the curtain than any of us are aware of. There has to be a good reason for Sony to purposely avoid releasing their new ebook reader in the US.

Sony’s ebook readers used to be a lot more popular in the US back when they were using metal frames—the PRS-650, PRS-350, and PRS-950 were really nice premium ebook readers, although expensive compared to the competition.

Ever since Sony revamped their line of ereaders and released the PRS-T1 with a cheap plastic design, interest in Sony readers has been on the decline. And then it didn’t help when Sony basically re-released the PRS-T1 and called it the PRS-T2. About the only difference between the two models was Sony removed audio support on the PRS-T2, which annoyed the few people that hadn’t already switched brands.

Now Sony goes and releases the PRS-T3, which aside from the design change and built-in cover, is essentially the exact same as the PRS-T1 and PRS-T2. Sony hasn’t done anything new or gone outside the box in years.

The Sony PRS-T3 might show up on Sony’s website tomorrow, next week, or never. Right now who knows. I don’t think there are very many people that even care anymore. There seems to be a lot more interest in Sony’s 13.3″ Mobius prototype than the PRS-T3, and it’s not even a real product yet.

14 Responses to “Still No Sony PRS-T3 in the US – Does Anyone Care?”

  1. I was a die hard Sony fan and had their ebook reader for years but upon reflection I’ve changed my tune. Their ebook prices are not very competitive. Sony is one of the most expensive places to buy ebooks. Why would I want to lock myself into their bookstore? I read on my tablet now and prefer epub wherever I can get it but I don’t buy very many ebooks at the Sony Reader Store. Too expensive. So if they don’t launch their new reader here, I doubt there would be an uproar about it. Just my two cents.

  2. I’m thinking the T3 is a device that will appeal to die-hard Sony loyalists or those that take down a lot of annotations when reading, but for the rest, well, it’s likely a non starter.

  3. No.
    My T1 still works fine so no frontlight, no sale.
    The unnecessary cover is just adding insult to injury.

  4. It’s showing as available to me in Canada bizarrely enough on the Sony Canadian store.

  5. I am an ebook author (Tai chi, Buddhism, Chinese and Thai culture and animal stories)

    My first e reader was a Sony
    PRS-350. Great hardware & battery life. I deliberately chose one with no internet access as I live in Thailand and back them access was not great.Buying & downloading books via PC worked, but the Sony software was slow and glitchy. Often got multiples.Then Sony in their wisdom upgraded the software, then the thing would not download from Reader Store. Even after I re registered etc. I got onto Sony support, turns out you had to leave a certain line in your address page blank or ordering woudn’t work. AND HOW ARE SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT? took days to sort with me sending screen shots of each page of the ordering process. After that was sorted it worked for a month or less, then the downloading froze and I could no longer get books from Reader Store or use Sony’s own software.

    I by-passed their useless software by simply using Adobe Digital Editions, and ordering books from Kobo & other sites BY e downloading to my pc download folder and then clicking & dragging them into the reader. Think I saved money in the process.

    Then the 350 died completely, it had started playing up after about 10 months, and each button needed a double press to work.
    By that time I had Kindle Paperwhite and Nexus 7. Battery life not so good but the WiFi access is great. I don’t miss the SONY. They need to get their act together & stop churning out rubbish software or give up on the e whole e reader idea. Even if you can manage to download stuff, the Reader Store prices are high and their list is limited.

  6. the more interesting markets seems to be the asian/ russian markets instead of the monocultural settled us market. the us market seems to be trapped in the boring subsidized e-ink-reader Kobo,Nook,Kindle circle.
    but it is of course pure speculation

  7. I switched to Kobo a few weeks ago.
    For a long time I hoped Sony would get its act together, but I’ve given up on them for now.

    Considering the path they took after their much loved .50 series it seems like a well thought out long term strategy of Sony to destroy their own ereader market and deliver it into the hands of competitors. If so, they must consider themselves very successful.

  8. I’m in Canada, I have a Sony PRS 350 since 2010. It was quite a bit pricey back then but I love the hardware, the size and the sturdy metal body are very nice, not too mention having buttons. I’m not a fan that most other e-readers have no buttons save for the power button and the plastic body, like the Kobo. I bought Kobos for most of my family too and I can’t say I enjoy them. The layout and the functions of the 350 are better than the Kobos.

    So it was a bit frustrating that Sony took some steps back starting with PRS-T1. I was willing to excuse the T2 on the basis that frontlight e-readers were in their first generation and maybe Sony was just playing it safe towards unproven technology. So the T3 reveal was very very disappointing to me, I for one was rooting very hard for Sony.

    It is hard to say if Sony is serious about the e-reading business. As purchases from the Kobo store can be transferred to the Sony readers and vice-versa, the difference is very striking at times. Kobo sends you lists of recommended books almost every other day and they regularly have discount coupons (even if usually in books I would never be interested in…). By contrast, in 3 years I got exactly 2 emails from the Sony ebookstore about a deal. Whereas Kobo surprises me with the occasional deal on a book I always wanted, I’ve never seen anything like that from Sony and I always have to make a conscious effort to check their prices (which are sometimes better but not often). I can’t stand the software either, I used Adobe Digital Editions. So they’re way behind the curve on the hardware, the software and they don’t do anything to get the content into customers.

    So yeah, major disppointment…

  9. Well US guys you will not miss anything.

    I do not want to enumerate the cons of Sony I just want to add a thumbs down for the reader and I do not care about the market.

    However at least Sony has some sense of not wanting to compete with Kindle, Kobo and Nook.

    At one point I just given up expectations regarding vendors. No matter what they do I will still have one that will fit my needs and that is fine. I use Calibre and I am not brand loyal. I am collecting information and not readers. 🙂

  10. yeah I also have the last good (in my opion) the PRS-650 – I like the quality and size of ti, it is still working great. But sadly I do not think I will get another eink ebook reader as With most they have a sd card to stoere books on but once you put lets say 10,000 (epub)books on it the thing takes way too long to scan every book for me to gain accessiability. Yet on an android device it is done in just a minute or so. I also am wanting color , so unless eink makes come great changes its the end of the line for me with them all…

    • @ Pogue
      Modern e-ink readers are much faster now with more powerful processors.
      The PRS-650 and PRS-950 (my reader) can’t handle large amounts of books very well.

    • Pogue, I own a PRS-T1 and do not have any speed issues with the microSD cards. One recommendation is make sure you go with the higher speed class microSD cards. (I recommend buying Class 10 cards, which are still relatively inexpensive). The other issue like Argos states in his comments is that newer e-readers (including Sony) use faster processors. The Sony PRS-T1 uses an 800MHz Freescale (Arm-based) processor and has very good performance.