Amazon’s much anticipated eReader is coming out in October, according to today’s New York Times. The Kindle’s big advantage over existing readers is the wireless connection to the Amazon store (the Illiad has wireless capability for upgrades but doesn’t actually have a browser; the Sony eReader requires a plug-in to download new books).
The bad news? The article suggests that Amazon eBooks use Mobipocket software (which Amazon bought in 2005) which is proprietary and does not support the open eBook standard backed by most major publishers. But Mobipocket is based on the open eBook standard from IDPF so it’s difficult to see why this would be true. Mobipocket software, at least up to this point, has been available to all devices (since the Kindle isn’t yet available, that kind of had to be true for Mobipocket to exist at all).
Google is also planning to start selling the digital content they have been collecting from publishers, with profit-share deals in place. No word on a handheld GoogleReader has appeared…yet.