In this holiday buying season the Kindle and the Nook continue to be very popular, and the battle still ranges over the viability of dedicated e-readers versus general purpose devices like the IPad.
I own one of the Sony E-Readers and quite like it. It has many advantages over the Kindle, Nook or IPad and yet its largely forgotten. I have a theory as to why.
Sony forgot to give its product a name! Quick test: what is the name of Sony's e-reader? Its "E-Reader". Since thats also the generic term for the device it amounts to not having a name.
Sometimes having the generic name for the device is a good thing. Xerox has the generic name for the photocopier. The important thing however is the timing.
Its a Good Thing to have your product name become the generic name. Its a Bad Thing however to simply use an existing generic name.
Imagine a device making introducing an MP3 player and calling it "MP3-Player". Rather than subsuming all the good will associated with the general product this new device would feel like a cut-rate generic device.
I think thats what happened to Sony's device. You can't even talk about their reader. I can't tell you how many times people have asked me: "is that a Kindle?". I say "no, its Sony's Kindle", which is certainly not an answer to warm the hearts of Sony's marketing department.
I don't know what surprises me more, the fact that Sony forgot to name their device, or that no one seems to have noticed this failure.