SONY HAS ANNOUNCED that it will leave the e-reader market, leaving Amazon Kindle and Kobo as the last major players.
In a widely expected move, the company told the BBC, "We do not have plans to develop a successor Reader model at this time." The current PRS-T3 model will remain available until stocks are exhausted, but the news is likely to result in fire sales as retailers dispose of inventory.
While Sony's e-readers have found a foothold in its home country of Japan, where they will continue to be available, Sony had already waved a white flag as an ebook retailer, with the Sony store closing the US last year and in Europe a few months ago.
At that time, Sony endorsed rival Kobo as an alternative source for content for its e-readers. But in spite of this, Amazon's Kindle line has 90 percent of the ebook market sewn up in the UK.
In addition, the rise of the phablet and cheaper tablets have made the overall market for e-book devices smaller overall, as there is limited appeal for carrying around two separate devices.
The war of ebook readers has seen Barnes and Noble, the biggest bricks and mortar book retailer in the US, attempt to break into the UK with limited success, while other devices like the Txtr Beagle, which promised a £15 device tethered to a smartphone have disappeared without trace.
Sony has been going through a period of restructuring, which has also resulted in the sale of its Vaio PC division. µ