Sony Reader looks to Android, iPhone apps

Still trying to compete against a market dominated by the Kindle and Nook, Sony’s e-reader platform is going mobile soon, with plans to unveil Sony Reader apps for the iPhone and Android.

Sony’s “Reader Store” app is set to be available on the App Store and Android Market next month, according to a new “e-bookstore” website on

Details of the app include this note: “Access books purchased at Reader Store on your Reader, PC, iPhone, or Android phone. Make bookmarks, notes, and highlights, and adjust font size as you read.”

The Reader app includes direct access to Google Books’ 1,000,000+ collection of free e-books, something that some of the other e-book apps do not offer.

Sony’s Reader device pre-dates the Kindle, Nook, iPad, and pretty much every other e-reader on the market. However, it failed to grab much market penetration because it was ahead of its time when it launched, and then behind the times when the Kindle became available. It has been playing catch-up ever since, and is sort of just barely managing to hold its own.

The digital books industry is not a huge one for the corporate behemoth known as Sony, and so updates – like a mobile book app – often come long after similar offerings are available from its competitor. The Kindle and Nook have had Android and iPhone apps for months.

Nevertheless, the pending launch of new Reader mobile apps shows Sony is still dedicated to the market. The app will be free and books will cost just as much as they do on the existing Reader store.