If you have a Sony Reader or Xperia tablet, you’re about to lose access to the Sony Reader Store. The good news is, you’ll be able to keep all your e-books and you’ll gain access to the Kobo Store.
In a press release earlier this month, Sony announced it’s shutting down its Reader Store in order to focus on its other offerings. Customers who are currently using it will be given the option to transfer their existing e-book libraries to the Kobo ecosystem in late March.
The Sony Reader will change over to the Kobo Store, and customers on the Xperia tablet will have the option to download the free Kobo app. (In the future, the app will come preloaded on some Xperia devices.) Any credit customers have with the Reader Store will also be transferred to a Kobo account.
“Our customers can be assured that they will have a seamless transition to the Kobo ecosystem and will be able to continue to access and read the titles they love from Sony devices,” explained Ken Orii, Vice President of Digital Reading Business Division for Sony.
Sony has also emphasized the switch will benefit current Sony Reader customers by giving them access to Kobo’s library of more than four million titles, as well as its Kids’ Store and magazine subscriptions.
Some Sony customers might be unhappy with the change, (after all, they likely bought their Sony Readers under the assumption that they’d always have access to the Reader Store) but it goes to show that the e-reader market is still fairly new and there’s likely to be more shuffling in the future as some manufacturers achieve dominance and others fall away. It also exposes some of the limitations of having a piece of hardware that’s designed to be tied to one manufacturer’s virtual storefront. We’re interested to see what will happen in the future.