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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Barnes & Noble took the wraps off of the Nook Tablet during a press event in New York City on Monday morning. The device runs Android 2.3, has a 7-inch LG “Vivid View” display, 16GB of expandable storage, 1GB of RAM and a dual-core 1GHz processor. It also weighs under one pound and supports up to 11.5 hours of reading time on a single charge. Barnes & Noble said the device will have free access to AT&T and Barnes & Noble Wi-Fi hotspots. The Nook Tablet has the “deepest Netflix integration of any tablet” and is capable of playing 1080p HD video. The device will have access to Barnes & Noble’s new “Nook Cloud” service for free storage as well as free customer support. In addition, Barnes & Noble said that it will release an update for the original Nook, now priced at $199, with more than 100 new improvements. Among the enhancements is access to MOG, Hulu, Grooveshark and Pandora content. The Nook Simple Touch device, with an E Ink display, is now just $99. The $250 Nook Tablet will be available next week and pre-orders begin now. Read on for the full press release. More →
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 →
Barnes & Noble is holding a press conference on Monday morning where the company is expected to unveil a new color eBook reader that will go head-to-head with Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Fire tablet. According to a recent report, the slate in question will be Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color 2 and it will feature a 7-inch 1024 x 600-pixel display, 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and a dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4 processor. Rumors also suggest the tablet will be priced at $249, $50 more than the hotly anticipated Amazon Kindle Fire, but nothing is confirmed until Barnes & Noble executives take the stage on Monday morning.
Bookmark this link, which will go live shortly before the event begins tomorrow morning, and make sure to head there for our live coverage of Barnes & Noble’s press conference! Coverage will begin just before 10:00 a.m. EST / 7:00 a.m. PST.
Barnes & Noble is holding a press conference in New York City on Monday and it looks like the rumors surrounding a possible Nook Color 2 announcement could be true. According to Engadget, which recently published a purported image of the new device along with specs, the Nook Color 2 will look identical to the current model. The tablet reportedly sports a 7-inch IPS color display with a 1024 x 600-pixel resolution, 16GB of storage, a dual-core TI OMAP 4 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM and more. Interestingly, Barnes & Noble may charge $250 for the Nook Color 2, which is $50 more expensive than Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire. Engadget says the unit will hit stores on November 16th but that pre-orders begin on November 7th. We’ll be reporting from the event live on Monday morning so stay tuned for more details and, hopefully, a hands-on demo. More →