E Ink revenues nose dive 60% in January

E Ink revenues nose dive 60% in January

By on February 8, 2012 at 11:35 PM.

E Ink, the popular company that provides paper-look gray-scale displays for eReaders, reported consolidated revenues of $48.02 million in January, down 63.6% from the same month last year and 11% sequentially. The growing popularity of media tablets with full-color displays likely played a big role in the decline — sales of Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet are thought to be eating into the companies’ respective dedicated eReader businesses to an extent. Even though E Ink’s revenue took a nose dive in January, the company said that it expects to post revenues of $1.35 billion this year, up 5% from 2011.

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Barnes & Noble’s next Nook said to launch this spring

Barnes & Noble’s next Nook said to launch this spring

By on January 30, 2012 at 9:15 AM.

Barnes & Noble’s fifth-generation “e-reading device” will reportedly launch this coming spring. Mentioned in passing within a New York Times profile of the struggling bookseller, it is unclear if the device in question will be a new media tablet or a standard eReader. With Barnes & Noble’s current-generation color tablet having just been announced this past November, however, a refresh of the company’s E Ink-equipped Nook Touch in the spring seems more likely. Barnes & Noble first unveiled the Nook Touch — then referred to as the “all-new Nook” — at a press conference in New York last spring. The device has since been upgraded with an improved display and a battery that lasts up to two months on a single charge, but the design of the eBook reader remained unchanged. The lightweight ergonomic case and soft-touch rubber feel on the Nook Touch make it our preference over Amazon’s E Ink eReader, so we hope the company’s fifth-generation model doesn’t stray far from the current design. More →

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‘Inside Apple’ explores Apple’s secrets, hits bookshelves on January 25th

‘Inside Apple’ explores Apple’s secrets, hits bookshelves on January 25th

By on January 3, 2012 at 7:30 PM.

Adam Lashinsky’s new book “Inside Apple” is expected to hit bookshelves on January 25th. The novel discusses the inner workings and secrets of Apple, including Apple University and a mysterious retreat that executives take each year. According to the book’s synopsis: “In this primer on leadership and innovation, the author will introduce readers to concepts like the ‘DRI’ (Apple’s practice of assigning a Directly Responsible Individual to every task) and the Top 100 (an annual ritual in which 100 up-and-coming executives are tapped a la Skull & Bones for a secret retreat with company founder Steve Jobs).” The hardcover version of Inside Apple will cost $16.92 and a Kindle eBook edition will also be available for $12.99. More →

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Amazon: More than 4 million Kindles sold this holiday season

Amazon: More than 4 million Kindles sold this holiday season

By on December 29, 2011 at 9:55 AM.

Amazon announced on Thursday that the 2011 holiday season was the best ever for sales of its Kindle devices. While the online retailer didn’t specifically say just how many devices were sold by model, it did say Amazon customers purchased “millions of Kindle Fires and millions of Kindle eReaders” and more than 1 million devices per week during the month of December. The company also noted that its #1 and #4 best-selling eBooks released this year were published by independent authors through its Kindle Direct Publishing platform. “We are grateful to our customers worldwide for making this the best holiday ever for Kindle,” Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos said.  “And in a huge milestone for independent publishing, we’d also like to congratulate Darcie Chan, the author of ‘The Mill River Recluse,’ and Chris Culver, the author of ‘The Abbey,’ for writing two of the best-selling Kindle books of the year.” The Kindle Fire was the most popular device followed by the Kindle Touch and the Kindle. Amazon also said that gifting of Kindle eBooks jumped 175%, between Black Friday and Christmas Day, compared to last year. Amazon’s full press release follows after the break.

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Amazon currently selling over 1 million Kindles each week

Amazon currently selling over 1 million Kindles each week

By on December 15, 2011 at 9:40 PM.

Amazon’s Kindle line was expected to be a popular option for holiday shoppers and the retailer confirmed as much on Thursday. Straying from its normally tight-lipped stance with regard to sharing sales volumes, Amazon announced that its Kindle Fire tablet and Kindle eReaders have sold more than 1 million combined units for three consecutive weeks. “Kindle Fire is the most successful product we’ve ever launched – it’s the bestselling product across all of Amazon for 11 straight weeks, we’ve already sold millions of units, and we’re building millions more to meet the high demand,” VP of Amazon’s Kindle business Dave Limp said in a statement. “In fact, demand is accelerating – Kindle Fire sales increased week over week for each of the past three weeks. People are buying Kindle Fire because it’s a simple, fully-integrated service that makes it easy to do the things they love – watch movies, read books and magazines, listen to music, download apps, play games, and surf the web.” Limp added that the Kindle family of eBook readers are close behind Kindle Fire on the Amazon.com bestseller list. The company’s full press release follows below. More →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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