Sony in the USA has dropped the recommended price of the neat and pocketable Pocket Reader from $199 to $169. According to Engadget, this is a temporary “sale” price effective to April 4, coincidentally the day after the iPad is launched. The source story, in today’s Wall Street Journal, suggests that this could be the start of a price war to make single-purpose e-reader devices more desirable in the face of competition from multi-purpose tablets such as the iPad. Sony need to position themselves carefully. Amazon don’t have to worry too much because they have a foot in both camps and, I suspect, the e-ink Kindle was always a means to an end–to popularise e-books and sell them. There’s just as much profit for them in selling an e-book to an iPhone or iPad user as to a Kindle fan.