The humble book has but 5 years before it's surpassed by the digital versions according to Sony as it reaches out to Apple to welcome the company's move into the ebook reader market with the launch of the Apple iPad.

"The introduction of another mobile device, which includes digital reading as part of its functionality, is a good thing for the digital book business,” Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division told Pocket-lint.

Although many journalists have been quick to question how ebook readers will stand up against the onslaught of marketing and interest in the Apple iPad and its new iBook store, Sony thinks the move is a good thing from the Curpertino based company.

“Mobile devices with reading capabilities will play a key role in the paradigm shift from analogue to digital content. At Sony, we’re focused on devices optimised for digital reading and believe that digital books sales will surpass print sales within five years, if not sooner.”

With Sony hoping the traditional book will be dead in 5 years, how long before e-ink is replaced?