Sony Reader eBook store to shut down in US and Canada, will move customers to Kobo

Starting next month, Sony will begin closing the doors on its Sony Reader Store for eBooks in the US and Canada.

Sony's Reader and Xperia tablet and smartphone users will not be left in the lurch though, as the company also revealed that all Reader accounts and libraries will soon transfer over to Kobo's platform. Kobo's Android app will come pre-installed on Xperia devices, giving access to more than 4 million eBooks, magazines, and newspapers.

Existing Sony Reader accounts will have access to the Kobo Store starting in late March. Sony described the transfer process as "simple and easy migration". In fact, customers will soon receive an email from Sony with instructions on how to move their library to a Kobo account.

For now, however, Sony's customers in the US and Canada can continue to purchase eBooks from Sony's Reader Store. Sony also clarified that customers in Europe, Japan and Australia will still be able to purchase eBooks after its Reader Store shuts down in North America next month.

Those Sony Reader owners concerned that they will be out of books need not worry, as the Kobo system is rather good. Whether Sony Readers will get the cross-platform syncing through Kobo's apps that the service offers remains to be seen, but our experience of Kobo is that it has a system that provides many of the same benefits as Amazon's Kindle.

READ: Sony selling off Vaio brand and PC business after plummeting sales

This news from Sony comes directly after the company confirmed it would also sell Vaio and its PC business as a whole to Japan Industrial Partners by the end of March. The decision to sell Vaio is due largely to plummeting sales. During Q3, for instance, Sony saw sales increase from its mobile arm but still forecasts a loss of around $1.1 billion for 2013.