Microsoft invests $300 million in Barnes & Noble

By on April 30, 2012 at 7:45 AM.

Microsoft invests $300 million in Barnes & Noble

Microsoft buys part of Barnes & Noble

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 →

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Next-generation Kindle Fire tablet could be nearing production

By on March 22, 2012 at 3:50 PM.

Next-generation Kindle Fire tablet could be nearing production

BGR exclusively reported nearly a year ago that Amazon was working on two new devices that would push the retail giant beyond eReaders and into the tablet space. The first, a dual-core Tegra 2-powered slate, would launch six months later as the Kindle Fire and propel Amazon into the No.2 spot among global tablet vendors after just half a quarter of availability. The second tablet was said to be a 10-inch offering powered by NVIDIA’s quad-core Tegra 3 chipset, but we have yet to see it materialize. Numerous reports have suggested that the larger Kindle Fire was pushed back from its originally scheduled debut, and the tablet will now launch in the second quarter this year. While Amazon has yet to reveal any plans for a larger Kindle Fire, DigiTimes reported on Thursday that the company placed initial chassis orders with Taiwan-based Catcher Technology for a new Kindle Fire tablet, suggesting production could begin soon. The report did not specify the size of the chassis on order. More →

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Kindle Fire extinguishes eReader demand in Q1

By on March 8, 2012 at 6:25 PM.

Kindle Fire extinguishes eReader demand in Q1

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 →

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Apple’s ‘Bliss’ textbook project inspired by interactive Al Gore book

By on January 18, 2012 at 7:40 PM.

Apple’s ‘Bliss’ textbook project inspired by interactive Al Gore book

Apple is planning to unveil a new textbook initiative on Thursday that has been codenamed ‘Bliss’ that will likely bolster the use of iPads for educational purposes inside classrooms. AppleInsider has learned that the initiative was first inspired by Al Gore’s book “Our Choice,” which was published as an interactive iOS eBook and which also discusses the current global “climate crisis.” According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple’s vice president of development for iWork Roger Rosner has been the lead on the project. We’ll certainly know more details on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. Eastern when Apple makes its announcement during a press conference in New York City. More →

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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EReader shipments may balloon 183% to 34.8 million this year

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

EReader shipments may balloon 183% to 34.8 million this year

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 →

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Nielsen: Tablet and eReader adoption accelerated among older users, women in Q2

By on August 25, 2011 at 7:00 AM.

Nielsen: Tablet and eReader adoption accelerated among older users, women in Q2

Mobile connected device adoption picked up among women and older consumers in the second quarter of 2011, according to new findings from market research firm Nielsen. In the second quarter last year, tablets and eReaders were owned largely by those under the age of 35. The market has shifted significantly over the past year however, and consumers 35 and older accounted for more than half of tablet and eReader owners last quarter. 54% of tablet owners in the second quarter were over the age of 35, up from 38% in the second quarter of 2010, and eReader ownership among consumers 35 and older jumped to 65% last quarter from 55% in the June quarter a year prior. Where gender is concerned, eReader adoption among women ballooned to 61% in the second quarter of this year, up from 46% in the same quarter last year. Smartphone adoption inched up from 47% in the second quarter of 2010 to 50% last quarter, and tablet adoption jumped from 39% to 43% over the same period. Another chart from Nielsen’s report follows below. More →

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IDC: Tablets, eReaders to fuel semiconductor growth; 120% increase expected in 2011

By on April 6, 2011 at 7:49 PM.

IDC: Tablets, eReaders to fuel semiconductor growth; 120% increase expected in 2011

Market analytics firm International Data Corporation (IDC) is predicting a big boom for semiconductor manufactures in 2011. Citing strong tablet and eReader-based semiconductor revenues — $3.3 billion in 2010 alone — IDC is predicting an additional 120% growth rate in 2011. “Media Tablets and eReaders are two devices that share components but whose bills of materials (BOM) are optimized for very different functions,” writes IDC. “The 2010 average Tablet semiconductor BOM was nearly one and one half times as much as the BOM for eReaders.” The firm also notes that 99% of advanced processing unit shipments in 2010 were based on ARM technology. IDC predicts that ARM will continue to have a stranglehold on the industry in 2011, only shedding one to two percentage points as x86 tablets begin to trickle into the market place. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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IMS: Tablet market to continue hurting PC makers through 2011

By on March 29, 2011 at 6:03 PM.

IMS: Tablet market to continue hurting PC makers through 2011

Market research firm IMS Research on Tuesday said the growing market for tablets and eReaders will continue to have a significant impact on portable PC sales this year. The report shows that the 2010 holiday season capped off a massive fourth quarter for tablets and eReaders. eReader shipments in the quarter were up 90% over the third quarter and 116% year-over-year to 5.1 million units, with Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s NOOK the biggest winners. Led by Apple’s iPad, tablet shipments were even more impressive in the fourth quarter. The tablet market grew 124% in the quarter, with 9.4 million units shipped. Apple led the market with a 78% share, followed by Samsung. This impressive performance only represented 8% of the portable PC market in 2010, however, but IMS foresees a tablet explosion this year. The firm predicts tablet shipments will grow 242% to 58 million units in 2011, which will account for 23% of the portable PC market. Hit the break for the full press release. More →

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Connected device sales will grow 77% to 39 million in 2011, Berg Insight says

By on February 17, 2011 at 2:37 PM.

Connected device sales will grow 77% to 39 million in 2011, Berg Insight says

In a report titled Emerging Wireless Consumer Devices published this month by Berg Insight, the firm claims that sales of connected consumer devices will grow 77% in 2011. Berg estimates that 22 million consumer devices with embedded cellular connectivity were sold in 2010, and that number will nearly double in 2011 to 39 million. In 2015, Berg thinks over 270 million connected consumer devices will be sold globally, representing a compound annual growth rate of 65%. The category, as defined by Berg, includes devices with integrated cellular connectivity such as tablets and eReaders, and it excludes cell phones. The firm also notes that connected portable gaming consoles such as Sony’s NGP will be a new and significant entrant into the category later this year.

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IDC: Led by iPad, 17 million tablets shipped in 2010

By on January 19, 2011 at 3:33 AM.

IDC: Led by iPad, 17 million tablets shipped in 2010

Research firm IDC said on Tuesday that 17 million consumer tablets shipped in 2010 according to its Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker. In a press release, the firm also stated that the tablet market’s remarkable third-quarter growth of 45% was due almost entirely to sales of Apple’s iPad. Calling them “media tablets,” IDC says 4.8 million consumer tablets were shipped globally in the third quarter, up from 3.3 million units in Q2, and approximately 4.2 million of them were iPads. “The media tablet market’s rapid evolution will continue to accelerate in 4Q10 and beyond with new product and service introductions, channel expansion, price competition and experimentation with new use cases among consumers and enterprises,” said IDC’s research director in charge of mobile connected devices, Susan Kevorkian. Hit the jump for IDC’s press release. More →

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AT&T adds 900,000 connected devices to network in Q2, now has 6.7 million total

By on July 23, 2010 at 7:45 AM.

AT&T adds 900,000 connected devices to network in Q2, now has 6.7 million total

Ever wonder how many devices that aren’t mobile phones are connected to a mobile network? Today, in a press release, AT&T announced that it has added 3.4 million connected devices — that’s eReaders, netbooks, digital photo frames, personal navigation devices, home security monitoring, smart grid devices, etc. — to its wireless network since the beginning of 2010. Nearly 900,000 of those devices were added in Q2, bringing the total number of such devices to just under 6.7 million. “AT&T has certified more than 850 specialty consumer and machine-to-machine devices [...] for use on its wireless network,” boasted the press release. While the number of connected devices still pales in comparison to the number of mobile phones, this figure is sure to explode in the next several years as companies and consumers build and demand more connected devices. We’ve got the full press release for you after the bounce. More →

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