Barnes & Noble Nook Color update brings Netflix, other Nook Tablet features

Barnes & Noble Nook Color update brings Netflix, other Nook Tablet features

By on December 13, 2011 at 3:00 AM.

Barnes & Noble’s previous-generation Nook slate is getting an update beginning today that will add a number of features from the new Nook Tablet to the device. “Among the new features, NOOK Color v1.4.1 now offers access to streaming popular movies and TV shows through Netflix, comics and graphic novels, new PagePerfect NOOK Books, reading NOOK Books in portrait and landscape modes, and many other enhancements through-out the device,” Barnes & Noble said. Version 1.4.1 of the company’s Android-based operating system is available immediately as a manual update on Barnes & Noble’s website and it will automatically be downloaded to devices over Wi-Fi beginning some time this week. Barnes & Noble’s full change log follows below. More →

No Comments

European Commission to investigate Apple, eBook publishers in antitrust probe

European Commission to investigate Apple, eBook publishers in antitrust probe

By on December 6, 2011 at 9:01 AM.

The European Commission announced Tuesday that it has opened formal proceedings to investigate whether or not major eBook publishers, possibly “with the help of Apple,” are “engaged in anti-competitive practices affecting the sale of eBooks.” The publishing companies named in the investigation include Hachette Livre, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holzbrinck. “The Commission will in particular investigate whether these publishing groups and Apple have engaged in illegal agreements or practices that would have the object or the effect of restricting competition in the EU or in the EEA,” the European Commission said in a statement. It is unclear how long the investigation will take. A press release from the European Commission follows after the break. More →

No Comments

Barnes & Noble Nook business jumps 85% to $220 million

Barnes & Noble Nook business jumps 85% to $220 million

By on December 1, 2011 at 9:50 PM.

Barnes & Noble on Thursday reported its results for the second fiscal quarter of 2012, in which it revealed its Nook business has seen stellar growth over the last year. The company said that its Nook business, which includes sales of tablets, eReaders and eBooks, pulled in $220 million in the second quarter, up 85% from the same quarter last year. Barnes & Noble did not reveal how many Nook devices it sold during the quarter but said that it expects to sell “millions of devices” during the third fiscal quarter. B&N.com sales increased 17% year-over-year from $177 million to $206 million, but Barnes & Noble’s overall sales fell 0.6% from $190 billion in the second quarter last year to $189 billion this past quarter. Retail sales also dropped 1% from $931 million to $918 million. Barnes & Noble’s full press release follows after the break. More →

No Comments

Black Friday Kindle sales smash record thanks to Kindle Fire demand

Black Friday Kindle sales smash record thanks to Kindle Fire demand

By on November 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM.

Strong demand for Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet and the continued popularity of Kindle eReaders lead to the retail giant’s best-ever Black Friday for the Kindle family of products. Amazon on Monday announced that sales of Kindle devices on Black Friday quadrupled last year’s sales, setting a new record. The company neglected to report sales figures, however it did say it sold millions of new Kindle eReaders and Kindle Fire tablets combined before the Black Friday shopping weekend began. “Even before the busy holiday shopping weekend, we’d already sold millions of the new Kindle family and Kindle Fire was the bestselling product across all of Amazon.com,” said Amazon VP Dave Limp in a statement. “Black Friday was the best ever for the Kindle family – customers purchased 4X as many Kindle devices as they did last Black Friday – and last year was a great year. In addition, we’re seeing a lot of customers buying multiple Kindles – one for themselves and others as gifts – we expect this trend to continue on Cyber Monday and through the holiday shopping season.” Amazon also noted that the Kindle Fire tablet, which BGR reviewed earlier this month, has now been Amazon’s best-selling product for eight weeks running. The company’s full press release follows below. More →

No Comments

Tablet pricing to drop in 2012, eReader shipments to grow 31.4%

Tablet pricing to drop in 2012, eReader shipments to grow 31.4%

By on November 10, 2011 at 6:15 PM.

End user pricing on media tablets is set to drop substantially in 2012 as competition further increases among vendors. A new report from analyst James Wang of DigiTimes on Thursday suggests that the average price of 10-inch tablets will drop to between $299 and $399 next year, and 7-inch models will average between $199 and $249. Wang further speculations that Amazon may lower the end user cost of its Kindle Fire tablet to $149 in order to maintain its pricing advantage. Regarding eReaders, the analyst sees shipment volume growing 31.4% in 2012 to 28.9 million units, and he believes the U.S. will continue to account for the bulk of eReader sales. EReader pricing is expected to drop as well next year, and Wang says Amazon’s Kindle could be sold for as little as $49 as eBook readers from other vendors like Barnes & Noble reach the $99 price point. More →

No Comments

Kobo to be acquired by Japanese e-commerce giant for $315 million

Kobo to be acquired by Japanese e-commerce giant for $315 million

By on November 8, 2011 at 9:00 PM.

Kobo, purveyor of eReaders and eBook software across a variety of platforms, announced on Tuesday that it will be acquired by Japan-based Rakuten. Rakuten will purchase 100% of outstanding shares of of Kobo for $315 million in cash. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Kobo was spun off of Canadian retailer Indigo in late 2009, and the company has struggled to compete against the likes of Amazon and Barnes & Noble in the eBook space. “We are very excited about this next step,” said Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani in a statement. “Kobo provides one of the world’s most communal eBook reading experiences with its innovative integration of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter; while Rakuten offers Kobo unparalleled opportunities to extend its reach through some of the world’s largest regional e-commerce companies, including Buy.com in the US, Tradoria in Germany, Rakuten Brazil, Rakuten Taiwan, Lekutian in China, TARAD in Thailand, and Rakuten Belanja Online in Indonesia, and of course, Rakuten Ichiba in Japan.” Kobo’s full press release follows below. More →

No Comments

Live from Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet event!

Live from Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet event!

By on November 7, 2011 at 9:52 AM.

We’re live from Barnes & Noble’s press conference here in New York City where the bookseller is expected to take the wraps off its sequel to the Nook Color tablet. Though the firm used a heavily customized, unrecognizable version of Google’s Android platform to power the original Nook Color, it is still one of the most popular Android tablets in the short history of the media tablet category. Barnes & Noble has reportedly shipped more than 3 million Nook Color slates to date, and with Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire ready to heat things up beginning next week, we’re hoping B&N has a few surprises up its sleeve this morning to keep the space competitive. Hit the break for our live coverage and don’t forget to refresh the page often, or enable auto-refresh, for all the latest news as it breaks. More →

No Comments

We’ll be reporting live from Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet event tomorrow at 10AM

We’ll be reporting live from Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet event tomorrow at 10AM

By on November 6, 2011 at 3:15 PM.

Barnes & Noble is holding a press conference on Monday morning where the company is expected to unveil a new color eBook reader that will go head-to-head with Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Fire tablet. According to a recent report, the slate in question will be Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color 2 and it will feature a 7-inch 1024 x 600-pixel display, 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and a dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4 processor. Rumors also suggest the tablet will be priced at $249, $50 more than the hotly anticipated Amazon Kindle Fire, but nothing is confirmed until Barnes & Noble executives take the stage on Monday morning.

Bookmark this link, which will go live shortly before the event begins tomorrow morning, and make sure to head there for our live coverage of Barnes & Noble’s press conference! Coverage will begin just before 10:00 a.m. EST / 7:00 a.m. PST.

No Comments

Amazon Kindle and Kindle touch hands-on!

Amazon Kindle and Kindle touch hands-on!

By on September 28, 2011 at 11:41 AM.

We just spent a few minutes checking out the brand new Amazon Kindle Touch and all new Amazon Kindle, and we’re impressed. Both tablets were extremely light, though with the touch sensitivity being incredible on the Kindle touch, we could see ourselves opting for that with 3G over the regular Kindle. The backs of both are metal, like the previous Kindle, and the readability is fantastic on the E Ink displays, even with the touch capability on the Kindle touch. While the prices of both are insanely attractive, Amazon revealed to us that these prices are for the special offers versions of the Kindle devices, and that the non-special offer Kindles will be $109 and $139, respectively. Even still, the prices that Amazon is delivering these products for is incredible, and the new Nook just got a whole lot less attractive. Hit the gallery for all of our photos.

P.S. Which way are you leaning? Touch or no touch?

51 Comments

Amazon Kindle Library Lending now live; more than 11,000 U.S. libraries participating

Amazon Kindle Library Lending now live; more than 11,000 U.S. libraries participating

By on September 21, 2011 at 10:25 PM.

Amazon’s Kindle Library Lending service, first announced in April, is now live in the United States. The service allows Kindle users to borrow eBooks from more than 11,000 participating libraries across the country. Here’s how it works: simply visit the website of a U.S. library with support for OverDrive and then, provided you have a library card, check out a Kindle book by clicking “Get for Kindle.” The eBook will then be delivered to your Kindle via Wi-Fi or USB. Library Lending is supported on any device that has Amazon’s Kindle application installed, which means it is available for multiple platforms including the PC, Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phone. There are no limitations to titles borrowed from a library, and users can still view real page numbers and synchronize notes, highlights and more across multiple devices. More →

3 Comments

EReader shipments may balloon 183% to 34.8 million this year

EReader shipments may balloon 183% to 34.8 million this year

By on September 14, 2011 at 7:01 AM.

Global shipments of eReaders are expected to skyrocket this year, ballooning 183% from last year to reach 34.8 million units. According to new data from the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute, part of Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry, 12.3 million dedicated eBook readers shipped in 2010. The figure is relatively in line with earlier estimates of 12.8 million units from market research firm IDC. The MIC estimates that global eReader shipments in 2011 will total up to 34.8 million units, and 2012 shipments could grow a further 46% to surpass 50 million units. The firm sees the U.S. as the biggest growth market during that period, and the eReader landscape is expected to shift moving forward. “Consumers prefer e-readers with multimedia functions, MIC said, the overall performance, colorization, and product differentiation are key factors for market success,” Taiwan Economic News noted in its coverage of MIC’s report. “Cross-industry alliances will also be decisive for players in the new game, the center said.” More →

1 Comment

Amazon readying Netflix-like service for eBooks, report claims

Amazon readying Netflix-like service for eBooks, report claims

By on September 12, 2011 at 8:01 AM.

As Amazon prepares to launch its first tablet offering this fall, the tech press seems to be in agreement that the device will give owners deeply integrated access to the company’s suite of digital services. It will download books from Amazon’s Kindle book store, stream music from the company’s Cloud Player service, pull down movies from Amazon Instant Video, and provide a window into Amazon’s numerous additional services. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is also working on a new service its tablet offering might take advantage of down the road: Netflix for books. Read on for more. More →

8 Comments