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UK finally granted access to Sony Reader Store

18 April 2012 - 12:09 by Mike Price

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It has been almost six years since the Sony Reader Store first opened its digital doors in the US, allowing customers to purchase eBooks and virtual copies of magazines and newspapers via safe shopping online and to view them using compatible devices.

However, this month Sony has finally created the UK equivalent of this online service in a bid to enter a market which is currently dominated by Amazon.

Sony follows in the footsteps of its retail rival with the inclusion of free-to-download classics in addition to contemporary paid-for novels. There will be the option to subscribe to daily newspapers including the Guardian in the UK. Those who wish to experience the world of digital print can buy issues individually to test the waters before they commit.

A variety of devices will be compatible with the content you can now purchase from the Sony Reader Store, including desktop computers, tablets running the Android operating system and Sony's own brand of eBook Reader gadgets.

Interestingly, the demand for eBook readers seems to be on the decline, with the market-leading Kindle from Amazon expected to sell about half as many units this year as had been initially predicted.

This may make some investors nervous about Sony's plan to introduce its own portal, even with the ongoing growth in safe shopping online in the UK. However, since it is not selling physical products but is, rather, focused on digital downloads, the financial risks should be relatively minimal.

There is still a growing demand for digital content in the UK, but it seems that the market for the associated devices is slowing as it becomes saturated. This means that eBook sales should continue to see healthy performance as people pack existing readers with the latest titles.