Sony said today it would launch its eReader along with digital content in new Asia/Pacific markets this year and expand its presence in Europe.
Sony said it will make its Reader available in Japan, China and Australia as well as in European countries including Italy and Spain.
In each country the company said it will work with local retailers, publishers and distributors to introduce the Reader along with local content.
Sony says it anticipates strong global demand for eReaders and eBooks in 2010, specifically in Asian markets. According to analyst firm Nomura Holdings, Asia represents on of the fastest growing eBook and eReader markets, with Japanese eBook sales surpassing $500 million in 2009. Additionally, analyst firm DisplaySearch predicts China will become the world's largest eReader market by 2015.
"Sony continues to be a pioneer in this market, and in the years since we unveiled the first eReader, we've hit a global tipping point in digital reading with demand for and sales of the Reader dramatically increasing in 2009," said Steve Haber, president of Sony Electronics' Digital Reading Business Division.
"Sony's strategy has always been to make the Reader a global product and we'll take a thoughtful approach to country expansion that will consider not just the hardware experience within these new countries but the content experience as well."
The Sony Reader is currently available in eight countries including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland.
The company said it will announce availability, local pricing and pre-order dates for the Reader in Japan, China, Australia, Spain and Italy at a later date.