AT&T will provide 3G wireless connectivity to Sony's new eReader, called the Daily Edition.
The announcement firmly places AT&T as a contender in the US eReader market, as the carrier also is going to power electronics startup Plastic Logic's forthcoming eReader device.
Sony said it will sell the $399 gadget from December – $100 more than Amazon’s Kindle. The HSPA-powered Daily Edition has a 7-inch touchscreen and will be able to access digital library books, including titles from the New York Public Library, according to Sony.
The company stoked speculation about its eReader plans earlier this month when it indicated it would launch a new wireless device.
The Daily Edition joins Sony's previously announced, non-wireless eReaders, the Pocket Edition ($199) and the Touch Edition ($299, a touchscreen).
Those prices match up relatively closely with Amazon's Kindle eReader--powered by Sprint Nextel--which costs $289, or $489 for the larger Kindle 2.
While the Kindle delivers an estimated $2 in ARPU per month to Sprint – chump change when compared with standard postpaid ARPU – carriers have increasingly sought out new revenue streams in the embedded wireless space as wireless penetration rates level off.
Glenn Lurie, AT&T's head of emerging devices, addressed the eReader market specifically, noting that “there's a lot of analysts and industry experts that believe this space has tremendous potential.”