There are so many people in academia. A lot of people who are not in academia also read research papers. And I'm not talking about the formatting part. I'm talking about just looking up research papers on journal websites and reading them on the device in if nothing else then, pdf format. Kindle is small for reading pdf. Sony's digital paper doesn't have a good browsing experience especially for research papers where you'll probably open multiple tabs/papers often. Also, these devices are considerably expensive for students.
There are so many people in academia.
This is the crux: there really aren't. The kind of scale necessary to make electronic devices profitable is much larger than academia. There are about 2.5 million graduate students in the US, according to a quick google search. The sony e-reader sold about 800,000 devices and is considered a failure. About 20% of US consumers own an e-reader at all, but they might not like your specific device enough to spend $200 on it (graduate students are poorer than the average consumer, too). The likelihood that a device targeted at such a narrow market would approach anything like the necessary sales is very low.