Following Vaio sale, Sony chops failing eReader business

Sony's reorganisation didn't end with PCs and TVs — the tech giant has also announced plans to hand its struggling eReader business off to Kobo next month.

Starting in late March, customers will gain access to Kobo's massive content catalogue, which will soon house the Sony Reader Store and users' current eBook libraries.

"Kobo is the ideal solution for our customers and will deliver a robust and comprehensive user experience," Ken Orii, vice president of Sony Electronics' digital reading business division, said in a statement. "Like Sony, they are committed to those most passionate about reading and share our vision to use open formats so people can easily read anytime and anywhere."

The Sony Reader Store will remain in operation until 20 March, at which point users can transfer their content and Reader Store credits to the Kobo Store — which is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Accounts holders will get an email in late March with instructions on how to make that move. Those with Sony Reader devices will still be able to use them, but book purchases will go through Kobo.

"With a shared philosophy to deliver the best reading experience across platforms and with the best content available, Kobo and Sony will reach more people than ever before," Kobo CEO Takahito Aki said.

This deal also comes with the promise to pre-install Kobo's Android app on select Xperia devices.

Sony Reader Store customers today received an email from the company, which explained the upcoming migration process. "We strongly believe that this transition will allow you to enjoy a continued high-quality e-reading experience," the team wrote.

Kobo and Sony have both provided a handy Q&A section for those making the switch.

Earlier this week, Sony announced plans to sell its VAIO PC business and split its TV unit into a separate subsidiary — a move that will result in about 5,000 layoffs by the end of fiscal year 2014. Moving forward, Sony will focus on imaging, gaming, and mobile.

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