The successor to the Barnes & Noble Nook Color will launch this month, DigiTimes reported on Friday. There is no mention if the Nook Color 2 will run Android, as the original did, although we hope Barnes & Noble considers using the more tablet-friendly Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) operating system this time around instead of a the Froyo build, which was designed for use on smartphones. Inventec and Pegatron will assemble the eReaders and supply as many as 2-3 million devices by the end of this year, the report says. TPK Holding will provide the 7-inch color touchscreen panels. DigiTimes also said that the Nook Color 2 E Ink will supply “e-paper backplanes,” which suggests there will be a new E Ink component to the Nook Color 2, although it is unclear what its role will be at this point. Barnes & Noble most recently released its “All New Nook,” a gray-scale device that we favored among all other eReaders. The Nook Color 2 could face stiff competition from Amazon’s new Android-powered tablet, which is also expected to launch this fall. More →
Amazon launched its new Kindle Cloud Reader service on Wednesday that provides users with access their Kindle library using Chrome or Safari on Mac, PC, Linux and the Chromebook. Kindle Cloud Reader is also optimized for the iPad and offers a caching feature for offline reading. To get started, simply navigate to http://read.amazon.com and install the small required plug-in. We gave the service a quick run this morning and were impressed by how fast it loaded our eBook library. We definitely still prefer the standalone app on the iPad, but we’re sure Amazon created this option as a loophole to get around Apple’s iTunes App Store rules. Don’t use Safari or Chrome? Amazon still has you covered with its Kindle for PC client. Read on for the full press release. More →
OfficeMax announced on Thursday that it will stock Amazon’s popular Kindle eReader in its nationwide stores beginning on August 7th. The company mentions 3G in its press release so we assume it will only carry the 3G/Wi-Fi version of the eReader and not the ad-supported “Kindle with Special Offers” model. The Kindle provides access to more than 950,000 books and offers a 6-inch E Ink display. OfficeMax did not specify the device’s price, but Amazon currently sells its 3G/Wi-Fi model for $189. Read on for the full press release. More →
We received a tip from an unproven source claiming to have knowledge of discussions within Apple to possibly purchase Barnes & Noble. While this might seem like a strange move at first, it actually makes a whole lot of sense. Apple would be able to take Barnes & Noble’s vast digital library of books and publications, and fold them into Apple’s own iBooks store. Apple would have no use for the NOOK, and that would likely be discontinued in this scenario. Apple could then convert some of the brick and mortar Barnes & Noble stores into Apple stores and close the rest. It’s out there, and with a price most likely around $1 billion to $1.5 billion, it might be a stretch (though it would barely make a dent in Apple’s giant pile of cash). It also almost makes too much sense for Apple to do this, said another source of ours, mentioning that Apple doesn’t make moves that appear logical to most outside observers at the time. This unproven source also said that iTunes 11 would be released in September along with iOS 5 and iCloud, and will support reading iBooks on computers as well as textbook purchases and rentals.
Sony is expected to introduce a new family of eReader devices to challenge the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook devices next month. In an interview with Bloomberg, Sony Electronics’ vice president of digital reading Phil Lubell said that the new eReaders will offer both software and hardware enhancements, although he wasn’t specific on what exactly the changes are. Lubell said the devices will hit the market ahead of his company’s S1 and S2 Android tablets. AT&T announced yesterday that it would ship the dual-screen S2 to its customers in time for the back-to-school season, and Sony said its tablets will receive a software update later this year with support for the company’s eReader bookstore and software. “Sony appears to be struggling to expand its e-reader business as fast as it had originally planned,” Nobuo Kurahashi, an analyst at Mizuho Financial Group Inc. in Tokyo, told Bloomberg. Sony’s Reader products currently cost between $180 and $300 and the company will need to drop that price in order to compete with Amazon’s $114 Amazon Kindle with Special Offers and Barnes & Noble’s $139 ‘All new NOOK.’ More →
Amazon announced on Wednesday that AT&T will sponsor a new Kindle 3G with Special Offers, a deal that has lowered the price of the device $50 to $139.99. In a statement, AT&T’s CEO Ralph de la Vega said that the Kindle 3G is “by far the fastest growing connected device” on AT&T’s network. Amazon’s “Special Offers” devices come at the cost of ad-sponsored content. Users will see advertisements at the bottom of the screen and can launch the “AdMash” Kindle application to choose which advertisements are displayed. The $114 Kindle Wi-Fi with Special Offers device, which launched in April, is currently the best selling version of the popular eReader. Read on for the full press release. More →
IDC recently published a report that provided a snapshot view of the tablet and eReader markets. The company noted that in the first quarter, for the first time ever, Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Color lead the eReader pack ahead of Amazon’s Kindle. Even though Barnes & Noble just introduced the “all new NOOK,” a black and white device, IDC says that the lack of a color screen on Amazon’s Kindle “clearly impacted the company’s previous dominance in the eReader market.” The research firm also found that the eReader market declined to just 2.2 million units shipped in the first quarter, and said that the “post-holiday season proved to be challenging” for the eReader market. IDC still expects the global eReader market to ship 16.2 million devices this year, up 24% from last year. Read on for the full press release, which offers a few details on the tablet market, too. More →
During its earnings call on Tuesday, Barnes & Noble’s chief executive officer William Lynch discussed several figures related to book sales — the most interesting of which is that eBooks are flying off the digital shelves. “We now sell three times as many digital books as all formats of physical books combined on BN.com,” Lynch said during the call, noting that the Barnes & Noble NOOK’s market share has increased slightly to 27%, up from 25% last quarter. Similarly, the firm’s NOOK business saw nearly 300% growth over the same quarter last year. Brick and mortar store sales were down 3% for the quarter. We can’t say we’re that surprised by the figures, after all, the new NOOK convinced us to switch to eBooks. More →
Barnes & Noble took the wraps off of its latest eReader, the “All-New NOOK,” just last month. Its grayscale screen strays from the NOOK Color, and while the device still runs Android, it looks and feels much more like a traditional eReader. However, the new NOOK has a brand new E Ink Pearl display that not only works as a touchscreen, but refreshes less often than other eReaders and transitions faster. I’ve been using the new NOOK for the past week extensively, staying up late at night reading and pulling the NOOK out on the subway for quick page turns between stops. At $139, the NOOK is competitively priced with the Wi-Fi Kindle, but is it good enough to be your next (or first) eReader? My full review is after the break.
Barnes & Noble hasn’t acknowledged it yet, but the new NOOK actually does have a built-in web browser. It’s no surprise — the NOOK is powered by Android, so it should have some sort of browsing experience built-in — though it doesn’t work that well. We tested it with our review unit briefly by simply entering in a URL into the unit’s search function. Sites such as CNN and The New York Times failed to load at all, while others like Twitter’s mobile site booted just fine. The experience is far from perfect right now, but perhaps this means Barnes & Noble will patch the eReader with more robust support in the future. Hit the jump for a video of the browser in action, filmed by The eBook Reader. We’ll have our review of the all new NOOK up soon, so stay tuned! More →
On Wednesday Barnes & Noble announced that it is now shipping its brand new NOOK eReader to customers who pre-ordered the device, and that new customers will still get their devices by Father’s Day. The updated NOOK offers a 6-inch touchscreen display with new E Ink Pearl technology, access to 2 million books, and a single hardware button that should provide for a much more intuitive experience. We found the new E Ink display to be “leaps and bounds” better than the original during our hands-on with the eReader, so we’re definitely excited to see it make its debut this weekend. The NOOK will be in-stock at Barnes & Noble locations for $139.99. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Amazon on Monday revealed a new discounted version of its popular Kindle eBook reader. Amazon’s announcement came on the same day Barnes & Noble announced its all-new NOOK eReader. When asked during a Q&A session after Monday’s press conference if Barnes & Noble would ever consider releasing an ad-supported NOOK, CEO William Lynch laughed and said it was highly unlikely — but Amazon seems to be having some success with the ad-supported model. Joining the company’s $114 ad-supported Wi-Fi Kindle is the new $164 Kindle 3G, which gives consumers the option of saving $25 and dealing with advertisements. The device is otherwise identical to the standard Kindle 3G, which features a Pearl E Ink display, a full QWERTY keypad and free 3G connectivity. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
We just spent some time with Barnes & Noble’s just-announced eReader, the all-new NOOK, and we have to say… we’re impressed. From the size, to the design, to the gorgeous new E Ink Pearl display, this device is leaps and bounds better than the previous-generation NOOK. What’s more, we think it will definitely push Barnes & Noble even further in the growing eReader space, and it should have the team over at Amazon working overtime on its next Kindle design. The exterior of all-new NOOK is composed entirely of soft-touch rubber that feels amazing compared to the hard plastic found on other readers. The new E Ink display is fantastic, and we definitely appreciated the work Barnes & Noble put into improving the seizure-inducing page transitions that plague all eReaders. They’re still there, but they’re much improved compared to older readers. The addition of a 6-inch touchscreen makes interacting with the device much more enjoyable than non-touch eBook readers, and it also helps make the size of the device perfect for carrying in a small bag or even a coat pocket. Barnes & Noble’s is taking pre-orders for its all-new NOOK starting now, and the device will begin shipping on or around June 10th for $139. In the meantime, definitely check out our hands-on gallery below!