Despite a Sony spokesperson’s claim a week ago that there would be no further price announcements, Sony quietly dropped the prices on all three of its e-reading devices over the July 4 weekend. The wi-fi enabled Daily Edition drops from $349 to $299; the Touch Edition drops from $199 to $169; and the Pocket Edition, formerly $169, is now $149.
The Sony price cuts come in response to similar price slashing by Amazon (the Kindle 2 is now $189); Barnes & Noble, which introduced a new Wi-Fi-only Nook for $149 and dropped the price of the 3G Wi-Fi Nook to $199; and Borders, which sells Kobo’s $150 e-reader and the Aluratek Libre device for $119, in addition to selling the Sony Readers through Borders.com. In addition, Copia Interactive announced plans to introduce an as yet unseen but now reconfigured line of color LCD e-readers in the fall that will start at $99 for a nontouchscreen device and includes a $299 10.1" color LCD Touchscreen with wi-fi and multimedia support.
Although Sony had reduced the price of the Pocket Edition to $169 earlier in the year, the release of the iPad—with full color, high-res touchscreen and multimedia support—has driven the latest round of price cuts as manufacturers of black & white e-ink devices with limited functionality look to stay competitive in a price sensitive market.