Barnes & Noble's unveils $249 Nook Tablet

Nov 07, 2011 By MAE ANDERSON , AP Retail Writer

Barnes & Noble unveiled a $249 Nook Tablet Monday just ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season as the book retailer fights for a larger share of the lucrative e-book market.

Tablets and e-book readers are going to be flying off the shelves before the holidays, and both Barnes & Noble Inc. and Amazon are hoping to challenge Apple and its dominant iPad for a piece of the holiday pie. The Nook Tablet arrives just weeks after Amazon.com released its $199 Kindle Fire tablet. Barnes & Noble conceded on price while offering more memory and a product that it says has a longer battery life than the Kindle Fire.

But it cut the price on its Nook Color, which doesn't have streaming services, to $199, from $239. It cut the price for its Nook Simple Touch Reader, a black-and-white reader that doesn't have a browser, to $99 from $139.

The Nook Tablet will be in stores and shipped to homes on Nov. 17. Like the Nook Color, it has a 7-inch color touchscreen. The tablet will also come preloaded with apps from Netflix and Hulu.

Morningstar Analyst Peter Wahlstrom said the tablet appears to be a solid device, and that most features were expected as part of the next iteration of the Nook Color.

This product image provided by Barnes & Noble Inc., shows the new $249 Nook Tablet, which was unveiled Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, in New York. The e-book reader includes more features of a full-blown tablet than its prior offerings as the tablet wars heat up ahead of the all-important holiday season. (AP Photo/Barnes & Noble Inc.)

"At $249, it gives Barnes & Noble customers or potential customers enough to think hard about which device they want," he said.

Since introducing its first Nook in 2009, Barnes & Noble has spent heavily on its e-book readers and e-bookstore as people change the way they read, and also to fight off tough competition from discounters and online retailers. The New York company has struggled to turn a profit and saw its rival, Borders Group Inc., seek bankruptcy protection and then liquidate its assets.

In its most recent quarter, Barnes & Noble reported a narrower loss as revenue edged up 2 percent to $1.42 billion.

The Nook Tablet weighs less than a pound, has a battery life that enables nine hours of video watching and comes with 16 gigabytes of memory with an expandable SD slot to add memory.

Another selling point is Nook's free customer service at the more than 700 Barnes & Noble stores, CEO William Lynch said.

If you bought a Kindle and had a question about it, Lynch asked, "where would you go, Amazon's headquarters in Seattle?"

Apple Inc.'s iPad is the king of tablets now. It starts at $499 for a bare-bones version and costs $829 for the most expensive model.

Analysts at Gartner Inc. predict that three of every four tablets sold this year will be an iPad. Apple has sold nearly 29 million since it released its first in April 2010. Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com Inc. generally do not release sales figures.

In addition to being available online and at Barnes & Noble stores, the Nook Tablet will be sold at a variety of retailers including Target, Best Buy, Staples and Fry's.

Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. fell 13 cents to $11.48 during afternoon trading.

Explore further: Samsung debuts new Nook tablet with larger screen

1 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Barnes & Noble adds apps to Nook e-reader

Apr 25, 2011

Barnes & Noble Inc. on Monday added an applications store and an email program to its Nook Color e-reader, bringing the $249 device closer to working like a tablet computer in the vein of the iPad.

Barnes & Noble cuts price for Nook

Jun 21, 2010

(AP) -- Barnes & Noble cut the price on its original Nook electronic reader, undercutting its chief competitor, Amazon.com's Kindle, and will also offer a lower-price Nook with a Wi-Fi connection.

Sony cuts e-reader price to stay competitive

Jul 07, 2010

(AP) -- Sony has cut the prices on its electronic-book readers in an effort to keep up with stiff competition from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble, which both recently slashed prices on their own e-readers.

Recommended for you

Apple computer sells for record $905K in NY

8 hours ago

One of the first Apple computers ever built has sold in New York for $905,000, leading Bonhams auction house to declare it the world's most expensive computer relic.

Review: Better cameras, less glare in iPad Air 2

Oct 22, 2014

If I've seen you taking photos with a tablet computer, I've probably made fun of you (though maybe not to your face, depending on how big you are). I'm old school: I much prefer looking through the viewfinder ...

Samsung phones cleared for US government use

Oct 21, 2014

Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday some of its Galaxy mobile devices were approved by the National Security Agency for use with classified U.S. government networks and data, a boost to the company's efforts to expand in ...

User comments : 0