Barnes & Noble takes on Kindle Fire with new $199 Nook Tablet; Nook Color drops to $169

By on February 21, 2012 at 9:06 AM.

Barnes & Noble takes on Kindle Fire with new $199 Nook Tablet; Nook Color drops to $169

Barnes & Noble on Tuesday unveiled a new version of its popular Nook Tablet to compete directly with Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Lining up with earlier reports, the new Barnes & Noble slate features the same specs as the earlier Nook Tablet, however the device’s internal storage has been halved to 8GB. “For any customer who likes to read digitally, watch movies or TV shows, browse the web, or help their kids read and learn through interactive books and apps, our new $199 NOOK Tablet with 8GB is the best product value on the market,” Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said in a statement. “NOOK Tablet is the highest-rated wireless media tablet in the 7-inch class, ultra-portable at under a pound, offers our exclusive VividView screen technology, and since its introduction this holiday has received rave reviews from customers about all its great features. We’re pleased to now offer customers the ability to experience NOOK Tablet’s unmatched content experience for only $199.” Barnes & Noble also stated that its previous-generation Android tablet, the Nook Color, will drop to $169, undercutting the Kindle Fire by $30. The company’s full press release follows below. More →

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Cheaper Nook Tablet could give Kindle Fire a run for its money starting tomorrow

By on February 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM.

Cheaper Nook Tablet could give Kindle Fire a run for its money starting tomorrow

Barnes & Noble may be planning to launch a new version of its Nook Tablet at the same $199 price point that has helped Amazon’s Kindle Fire retain its spot atop Amazon’s best-selling electronics list since its launch last year. According to a purported internal memo circulated at Walmart and obtained by The Verge, the new version of Barnes & Noble’s popular Nook Tablet will launch on Tuesday. The only known difference between the current Nook Tablet and the new version is the slate’s internal storage, which will be cut in half from 16GB to 8GB. Pricing is not mentioned in the memo, but Barnes & Noble’s 16GB tablet is currently listed at $249. Considering the downsized flash storage chip and the Kindle Fire’s $199 price tag, a new sub-$200 price tag is a safe bet if this rumor pans out. A screenshot of the purported memo follows below. More →

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ITC attorney backs Barnes & Noble in Microsoft patent case

By on February 6, 2012 at 6:00 PM.

ITC attorney backs Barnes & Noble in Microsoft patent case

Barnes & Noble on Monday received some potentially good news following the rejection of its antitrust suit against Microsoft earlier this month. Microsoft is looking to halt the import of the bookseller’s Nook slates, claiming the devices infringe three Microsoft patents. Barnes & Noble argued that the patents in question are invalid because they do not cover new inventions, and the company has a new ally. Jeff Hsu, a staff attorney at the U.S. International Trade Commission, told Bloomberg he recommended that ITC Judge Theodore Essex rule that there is no violation by Barnes & Noble. Microsoft said the recommendation was made before evidence was presented, and it believes Hsu’s opinion may change once the trial gets underway. Bloomberg notes, however, that the ITC staff acts as a third party in the case and there’s no requirement that the judge follow any recommendations. Microsoft claims the Android operating system found on Barnes & Noble’s Nook eReader utilizes its protected technology, and the software giant has signed agreements with roughly 70% of Android vendors in the United States to license the technology in question. Judge Essex is expected to release his findings on April 27th.

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ITC reportedly rejects Barnes & Noble’s antitrust complaint against Microsoft

By on February 1, 2012 at 4:25 PM.

ITC reportedly rejects Barnes & Noble’s antitrust complaint against Microsoft

Barnes & Noble and Microsoft are currently tied up in two separate legal battles, one being heard by the Department of Justice and the other by the International Trade Commission. In March 2011, like previous Android vendors, Microsoft accused Barnes & Noble’s NOOK and NOOK Color of infringing on the company’s patents. The software giant, which takes in roughly $450 million a year through Android royalties, was looking to license the infringed patents to the bookseller, but the company fired back with claims that Microsoft was creating an abusive monopoly. It is now being suggested by patent expert Florian Muller of FOSS Patents that the ITC is likely to reject Barnes & Noble’s antitrust complaint against Microsoft, however. The complete order is not publicly available, but an administrative law judge has reportedly dismissed Barnes & Noble’s patent misuse defense against Microsoft . The judge issued a detailed order that has not yet been made public, but the headline reads, “Initial Determination Granting Microsoft’s Motion for Summary Determination of Respondents’ First Affirmative Defense of Patent Misuse.” The ITC evidentiary hearing will begin on Monday, February 6th. More →

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

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

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

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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Tablet and e-book ownership nearly doubled during holiday season

By on January 23, 2012 at 1:40 PM.

Tablet and e-book ownership nearly doubled during holiday season

Pew Research conducted a pre-holiday survey among people age 16 and older between November 16th and December 21st, and two additional surveys of adults age 18 and older in January. The data found that during the holiday gift giving season, sales of tablets and eBook readers nearly doubled from 10% to 19%. In the same time frame, the number of Americans owning at least one of these devices jumped from 18% to 29%. More than 33% of those living in households earning more than $75,000 a year own a tablet, with almost a third of those with college educations or higher owning the device. The eReader data revealed that more woman own the devices than men and those with both a high level of education and income showed the highest percentage of ownership. More →

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

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

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

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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Nook Tablet shipments total 1 million units, report claims

By on December 9, 2011 at 9:45 PM.

Nook Tablet shipments total 1 million units, report claims

Barnes & Noble’s manufacturing partners have now shipped a total of 1 million new Nook Tablets according to a recent report. Unveiled early last month and released shortly thereafter, the new Nook Tablet features a 7-inch “Vivid View” display built by LG, 16GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, a dual-core 1GHz processor and the Android 2.3 operating system. According to sources at component suppliers speaking to DigiTimes, more than a million new Nook Tablets have been manufactured and shipped to Barnes & Noble to date. The report also claims Barnes & Noble had to increase orders recently due to strong sales — the bookseller initially ordered 800,000 Nook Tablets to be built through the end of 2011, DigiTimes noted. More →

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

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

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

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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Tablet owners in the U.S. expected to total 89.5 million in 2014, Apple to own 68% of market

By on November 23, 2011 at 2:25 PM.

Tablet owners in the U.S. expected to total 89.5 million in 2014, Apple to own 68% of market

By the end of 2014, there will be 89.5 million tablet owners in the United States according to a new forecast, meaning one in three web-connected Americans will own a tablet. Of those 89.5 million people, 68% will own iPads. Market research firm eMarketer recently published its tablet forecast for the next three years and it determined that tablet growth will slow over the coming years, as will iPad sales. The firm estimates that there will be 33.7 million tablet owners in the U.S. by the end of 2011. That number will grow 62.8% to 54.8 million in 2012, and another 37.9% to 75.6 million by the end of 2013. Growth will then drop to 18.3% in 2014 according to eMarketer. Over the same period of time, the firm sees Apple’s market share in the U.S. dropping from 83% in 2011 to 76.4% next year, and then further declining to 68% in 2014. Two tables detailing eMarketer’s predictions follow below. More →

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Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet harder to repair than Kindle Fire, teardown shows

By on November 21, 2011 at 9:45 PM.

Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet harder to repair than Kindle Fire, teardown shows

The team at iFixit recently tore open Barnes & Noble’s brand new Nook Tablet to get a closer look at its inner workings see how they compare to Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The group found that the Nook Tablet is powered by a dual-core TI OMAP 4 processor clocked at 1GHz, and it has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal SanDisk storage. It also has a 4,000 mAh battery under the hood that’s rated for up to 11.5 hours of reading time, 3.5 hours longer than the previous generation Nook Color device. The Nook Tablet received a repairability score of 6 out of 10 points, which is worse than the Kindle Fire’s 8/10 score. The LCD can be easily replaced because it isn’t fused to the bezel, however one would need to remove the motherboard in order to replace the battery, and there are “excessive amounts of adhesive” and even hidden screws that made the teardown a bit more tedious than usual. More →

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Barnes & Noble steps into the ring with Microsoft, won’t bow to pressure over patents

By on November 21, 2011 at 1:30 PM.

Barnes & Noble steps into the ring with Microsoft, won’t bow to pressure over patents

If you are a company that has developed an Android product of any sort, chances are Microsoft has attempted to sue you or drag you in to an expensive licensing agreement. Samsung, HTC and ViewSonic are just a few of the larger firms that currently have deals in place with Microsoft. Barnes & Noble is the latest Android device maker to find itself in Microsoft’s line of fire, but it is not giving up the battle so easily. The retailer recently asked the Justice Department to probe the Redmond-based company over monopoly concerns and has accused the firm of “embarking on a campaign of asserting trivial and outmoded patents against manufacturers of Android devices.” Read on for more. More →

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Barnes & Noble calls on feds to probe Microsoft’s patent warpath

By on November 9, 2011 at 1:40 PM.

Barnes & Noble calls on feds to probe Microsoft’s patent warpath

It is no secret that Microsoft is on a warpath. The company has garnered Android patent licensing deals from major industry tech players like HTC, Samsung and ViewSonic, just to name a few, and has chosen to sue those that resist, such as Barnes & Noble. The book seller, which recently announced its second Android tablet, has sent a letter to the Justice Department’s chief counsel for competition policy Gene Kimmelman that calls on the U.S. government to probe Microsoft over monopoly concerns. “Microsoft is embarking on a campaign of asserting trivial and outmoded patents against manufacturers of Android devices,” Barnes & Noble said in the letter. “Microsoft is attempting to raise its rivals’ costs in order to drive out competition and to deter innovation in mobile devices.” Read on for more. More →

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