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Sony to cease production of e-reader devices

Sony will no longer produce e-reader devices because it is not "economically viable".

The technology company said it would cease production of e-reading hardware in an interview with German technology site Lesen.

The announcement signals Sony's final departure from the e-reading market in Europe and North America, after closing its North American and Europe e-reading store earlier this year.

In February Sony told its e-reading customers in America and Canada it would close its store, with customers instead being diverted to the Kobo e-reading platform. In May, Sony announce the same would happen with European customers, including the UK,  and a Kobo app was installed on Sony devices to allow customers to read.

Sony will instead focus on the Japanese e-reading market and in particular business customers with its 13.3 inch Sony Digital Paper device, a PDF reader aimed at professional business use.

Sony was an innovator in the e-book sector, releasing the first standalone e-ink reader, the LIBRIe, in 2004, a year before the release of Amazon's Kindle.

Analysts have previously indicated that e-readers have a short shelf life in the market now the versatile and popular tablet computer is  more affordable. Douglas McCabe, analyst with Enders said: "People are moving to using tablets; it may be that the window of opportunity around [e-reader] products was very short."