Barnes & Noble sent out invitations on Monday to a press conference that will be held on November 7th in New York City. The event will focus on the company’s Nook eReader devices, although it is unclear what will be announced. We suspect Barnes & Noble will unveil the Nook Color 2, an Android tablet that reportedly offers a 7-inch display. The Nook Color 2 will likely go head-to-head with the Amazon Kindle Fire this holiday season and it may be in Barnes & Noble’s best interest to drop the price of its Android-powered eReader from $249 to match the Fire’s $199 price point. All of this will be cleared up in a week, and BGR will be reporting live from the event.
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 →
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 →
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!
Barnes & Noble on Tuesday unveiled its all new NOOK eBook reader, and to say it’s an improvement over the previous-generation model is an understatement. This new version replaces the older greyscale model, not the still-young NOOK color, and it features a major improvement we probably all saw coming… a touchscreen. The eReader sports an on-screen keyboard and it also allows readers to look up words or take notes with simple taps on the beautiful E Ink display. The new NOOK features just one button compared to the Kindle’s 38, which obviously simplifies the user experience significantly. More importantly, the new NOOK can last up to two months on a single charge — double the battery life of Amazon’s Kindle. Other nifty features include a new proprietary dissolve transition that takes readers from one page to the next, and social media integration that allows users to share recommendations via Twitter, Facebook and more. Of course the new eReader also features Wi-Fi connectivity and owners can enjoy free hotspot access at all Barnes & Noble stores as well as every AT&T hotspot across the country. The new NOOK will retail for $139.99 when it becomes available on June 10th from Barnes & Noble, Best Buy and more. Pre-orders are available immediately.
While Microsoft is busy showing off the latest and greatest its Windows Phone platform has to offer, Barnes & Noble is across town getting ready to take the wraps off its brand new NOOK eReader. Tablets like the Apple iPad 2 and BlackBerry PlayBook are taking center stage right now, but these jacks of all trades have a long way to go before they can even come close to matching the reading experience afforded by dedicated eReaders. Avid readers and casual readers alike can appreciate the remarkable battery life and unique features that only a dedicated eBook reader can afford, and good luck trying to soak up the sun while reading a book on your iPad — right now, only an E Ink display can remain perfectly visible and glare-free while combating the sun’s rays. So what new features does Barnes and Noble have in store for its latest NOOK eReader? Hit the break for our live coverage of the unveiling, which will begin just before 10:00 a.m. EST, and don’t forget to refresh the page often for all the latest updates! More →
We just received an invite from Barnes & Noble for a press event that’s being held in New York City on Tuesday, May 24th. We suspect this will be the bookstore’s third major eReader announcement, which is in line with a recent SEC filing that suggested such a launch was imminent. It’s unclear what features the new eReader will offer, although we suspect it could be powered by the Android Honeycomb operating system, which was specifically designed for use in tablets. We’ll be reporting live from the event on Tuesday morning.
Barnes & Noble announced on Friday that it has updated NOOK for Android eReader application with access to newspapers and magazines. Users with 7-inch 800 x 480 resolution tablets running Android OS 2.1 and higher — that includes the Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Tab 10.1, XOOM, G-Slate, and others — can now view more than 120 magazines including popular periodicals such as Esquire, Maxim, Rolling Stone, and Popular Science, as well as national newspapers such as USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune. Users can choose to access the content with a free 14-day trial, a subscription, or by purchasing issues individually. The update is free and should be available in the Android Market now. Hit the jump for the full release. More →