Sony plans UK e-reader launch

<p>Sony is expected to launch its e-book reader in the UK at the 2008 London Book Fair, fuelling speculation that Amazon will try and pip it to the post by rush-releasing its own rival device, the &quot;Kindle&quot;.</p><p>According to publisher sources, Sony is in talks with Waterstone&#39;s to sell the device. Tech website Engadget is suggesting that Amazon will launch its Kindle device just after Frankfurt on 15th October&mdash;and has reported that it is already selling Kindle versions of books on its website. Speaking this morning at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Publishers Lunch&#39;s Michael Cader predicted: &quot;You will hear much, and perhaps write much, in the coming days about Amazon&#39;s Kindle and paid online access coming form Google and a host of other initiatives related to this idea of making the book electronic.&quot;</p><p>Sony unveiled the second version of its e-reader in the US last week, just over a year after the original model. The slimmer PRS-505 is priced at $299 (&pound;147), can hold up to 160 average-sized e-books, and is for sale online, at SonyStyles stores and at Borders stores across the US. Sony would not confirm its plans for entering the UK, but publishers point to a launch next April and are already getting excited about the potential of a new e-reader launch to stimulate e-book sales.</p><p>&quot;[It would] certainly inject some impetus into the industry,&quot; said Sara Lloyd, head of digital publishing at Pan Macmillan. &quot;Greater availability and choice of e-books, combined with better devices and increasingly digital consumer habits, can&#39;t fail to lead to e-books beginning to gain a toe hold in the market.&quot;</p><p>The head of digital activities at another major trade player predicted a success for Amazon: &quot;If either of them are going to work it will be the Amazon Kindle. But I still don&#39;t think it will be the actual device that throws [the market] open.&quot;</p>