Amid rumors that rival Amazon (AMZN) is planning to launch new versions of its Kindle eReaders as soon as next week, Barnes & Noble (BKS) on Sunday slashed prices on two of its Nook models. The company cut the prices of both its Nook Color and Nook Tablet, which are now being offered starting at $149 and $179, respectively. “Our Reader’s Tablets have consistently been the highest rated products by the leading technology experts and now they’re available for the lowest prices ever,” said Jamie Iannone, President of Digital Products at Barnes & Noble. “With NOOK Color for $149 and NOOK Tablet starting at $179, customers can enjoy our best-in-class digital reading and entertainment experience with an expansive selection of digital content and apps at an unbeatable price.” The company’s press release follows below. More →
Barnes & Noble and Microsoft announced in late April that the companies were uniting in a spinoff that would focus on B&N’s digital Nook business, and now the company has made its first major announcement since the deal was completed. While the bookseller has focused mainly on its own eReaders as well as tablet and smartphone apps with its Nook strategy, the company’s first move since the Microsoft deal is to give readers a way to ditch tablets and read Nook books on their PCs. “Nook for Web” is a direct response to Amazon’s Web-based Kindle offering, allowing customers to read books right from within their Web browsers. “There’s no need to download special software to access your digital library,” B&N’s digital boss Jamie Iannone said. “NOOK for Web seamlessly combines Barnes & Noble’s best-in-class digital reading experience and unrivaled NOOK Store to deliver an immersive, easy-to-use solution for readers to consume millions of titles right from their Web browser.” Nook for Web is available immediately at no additional cost to users, and Barnes & Noble’s press release follows below. More →
Barnes & Noble has taken to personally debunking the rumor that it will be in any way involved in Microsoft’s mystery news today. Although speculation ran rampant over the weekend that Microsoft would be releasing a tablet in collaboration with the bookseller, a company spokesman today told Benzinga that it has nothing to do with the rumored Microsoft tablet. Without Barnes & Noble in the mix, speculation on the new tablet shifts to how it will integrate with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console. CNET, for one, reports on rumors that the new tablet will double as an Xbox controller that will “include an ARM processor from Texas Instruments for ‘Kinect workloads,’ as well as custom IBM engine for ‘scale out.’ ” More →
Microsoft announced this past April that it acquired a 17% stake in a newly-formed Barnes & Noble subsidiary that will focus on Nook tablets and eReaders. What the company may not have mentioned at the time is that the new partnership might also yield a line of Microsoft-branded tablets. Microsoft sent out a last-minute invitation to a press conference late last week, and multiple subsequent reports have suggested that this event will see Microsoft unveil a new line of own-brand tablets powered by Windows RT. According to a recent report from TechCrunch, however, the Redmond-based company plans to take the wraps off a Barnes & Noble joint effort. The site’s sources claim the new tablet will be an eReader-media tablet combo, and it will focus on entertainment thanks to the inclusion of Xbox Live streaming support. Microsoft’s event begins at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, 3:30 p.m. Pacific, and BGR will be on hand to cover the press conference live.
UPDATE: A report from Dow Jones on Monday states that Barnes & Noble will have nothing to do with Monday’s announcements. More →
Apple’s iPad may be alone at the top when it comes to tablet traffic, but some movement down at the bottom earlier this month is raising a few eyebrows. Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet has been a quiet success story ever since it first launched in 2010 as the Nook Color, and it looks like the eReader/tablet combo still has some fight left in it. Amazon’s Kindle Fire has garnered far more attention than its B&N counterpart since it launched late last year, but according to ad network Chitika, the Nook Tablet’s share of traffic across its massive network recently surpassed that of the Kindle Fire. Barnes & Nobles tablet was responsible for 20% more traffic than the Kindle Fire between June 4th and June 10th of this year, but the two are still fighting over scraps — Apple’s iPad claimed 91.07% of all tablet traffic during that period, while the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire accounted for 0.85% and 0.71%, respectively. More →
Amazon’s Kindle Fire debuted and found rapid success, recording an explosive first quarter and capturing a 14% share of the overall tablet market. The latest numbers from comScore indicate the Kindle Fire had almost doubled its share of the U.S. Android tablet market over the past two months to 54.4%. According to market research firm IDC, however, Amazon’s market share tumbled from 16.8% in the fourth quarter of 2011 to just over 4% last quarter, pushing Amazon to the No.3 spot behind Apple and Samsung. The Cupertino-based company shipped 11.8 million iPads, down from 15.4 during its holiday quarter, and increased its worldwide share from 54.7% to 68%. Samsung took advantage while Kindle Fire sales slid and regained the No.2 position while Lenovo captured the fourth spot, followed by Barnes & Noble. Read on for IDC’s press release. More →
Barnes & Noble’s Nook eReader business is expected to see continued growth and was recently spun off into a new subsidiary that Microsoft invested $300 million in. The company’s CEO William Lynch sat down with Fortune and spoke about the future of the Nook business, and the executive said NFC-equipped Nook eReaders will be released as early as this year. “We’re going to start embedding NFC chips into our Nooks,” the CEO said. “We can work with the publishers so they would ship a copy of each hardcover with an NFC chip embedded with all the editorial reviews they can get on BN.com. And if you had your Nook, you can walk up to any of our pictures, any our aisles, any of our bestseller lists, and just touch the book, and get information on that physical book on your Nook and have some frictionless purchase experience. That’s coming, and we could lead in that area.” More →
Microsoft and Barnes & Noble on Monday announced the formation of a new partnership that will spin the bookseller’s digital Nook and College businesses into a new unnamed subsidiary. Microsoft’s investment of $300 million will bring it a 17% stake in the newly formed business, which is valued at $1.7 billion, and Barnes & Noble will own approximately 82.4% of the new company. “The formation of [this new subsidiary] and our relationship with Microsoft are important parts of our strategy to capitalize on the rapid growth of the NOOK business, and to solidify our position as a leader in the exploding market for digital content in the consumer and education segments,” said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble. “Microsoft’s investment in Newco, and our exciting collaboration to bring world-class digital reading technologies and content to the Windows platform and its hundreds of millions of users, will allow us to significantly expand the business.” Share of Barnes & Noble stock surged 80% in pre-market trading on the news. Barnes & Noble’s full press release follows below. More →
Barnes & Noble on Tuesday announced that its new Nook Simple Touch eBook reader will begin shipping ahead of schedule over the next week. The bookseller unveiled its new Nook eReader earlier this month, and the response has been positive thus far. BGR reviewed the original Nook Simple Touch and found it to be a terrific device, though Amazon’s Kindle ecosystem posed the eReader’s biggest hurdle. The new Simple Touch model is very similar to the earlier version, however it includes a new “GlowLight” display that allows users to read in the dark without sacrificing the clarity and look of the E Ink display. Strong demand for the new Nook will result in a limited supply, but Barnes & Noble said that pre-orders placed on its website will ship in time for Mother’s Day. Amazon is reportedly preparing to launch its own front-lit eReader in the coming months, as well as a new model with a color E Ink display. Barnes & Noble’s full press release follows below. More →
Barnes & Noble may be looking to beat Amazon to the market with an eReader that includes a front-lit E Ink display. The Digital Reader on Wednesday posted an image of a purported advertisement for an unannounced Nook Simple Touch that features screen technology Barnes & Noble highlighted as “GlowLight.” The new Nook is said to have a lighting mechanism embedded over its E Ink screen that will evenly distribute light across the display surface. Further details regarding price or a release date are unavailable, however The Digital Reader suggest a Thursday, April 12th launch is possible. The full Nook Simple Touch advertisement seen below. More →
Tablet shipments increased 56.1% in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 28.2 million units worldwide, according to market research firm IDC. A total of 68.7 million tablets were shipped in 2011, up 155% over 2010. Apple shipped 15.4 million iPads in the fourth quarter representing 54.7% of the global market, down from 61.5% in the third quarter of 2011. Amazon shipped an estimated 4.7 million Kindle fire tablets to grab 16.8% of the global market, while Samsung increased from a 5.5% share in the third quarter to 5.8% in the fourth. Barnes & Noble, despite shipping more units than in the previous quarter, saw its worldwide market share fall from 4.5% to 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Pandigital rounded out the top five with a 2.5% of the market share. IDC predicts that low-cost Android tablets will help Google’s mobile platform overtake Apple’s market share by 2015, however iOS will remain more profitable. Read on for IDC’s press release.
Amazon’s popular Kindle Fire is seen as having a huge impact on eReader shipments in the first quarter of 2012. The 7-inch Android tablet burst onto the scene in November and with less than seven weeks of availability in the fourth quarter, it managed to secure Amazon 14% of the global tablet market according to IHS iSupply. Demand for the Kindle Fire has remained strong in the first quarter — the slate is still Amazon’s best-selling electronics device for the 16th week running — and according to DigiTimes Research, eReader shipments will take a huge hit this quarter as a result. A seasonal decline from the holiday quarter to the first quarter is always anticipated, but DigiTimes’s research arm sees global eBook reader shipments dropping from 9 million units in the December quarter to just 2 million this quarter, a 78% decline. DigiTimes Research still projects solid eReader shipment growth in the coming years, however, as sales into channels jump from an estimated 22.82 million units in 2011 to more than 60 million units by 2015. More →
Apple’s shipments of iPads and MacBooks in the fourth quarter combined to give the Cupertino-based company a 26.6% percent share of the mobile PC market, according to a report from DisplaySearch released on Thursday. Apple shipped a total of 23.4 million units, nearly three times the amount of No.2 HP. The iPad accounted for 18.7 million units and captured 59.1% of the tablet market. Amazon shipped 5.3 million Kindle Fire’s for 16.7% of the market, with Samsung shipping 2.1 million and controlling 6.7% of the market. ASUS shipped 1.5 million units for a 4.6% market share and Barnes & Noble shipped 1.1 million units for a 3.5% share. Apple’s fourth quarter notebook shipments came in at 4.6 million units for an 8.3% share of the market. Ranking ahead of the Cupertino-based company was HP (15%), Dell (11.8%), Acer (11.8%) and Lenovo (10.8%). Read on for DisplaySearch’s press release. More →