Barnes & Noble releases new Nook e-reader for $119

Oct 30, 2013 by Anick Jesdanun

Barnes & Noble Inc. is releasing a new Nook e-book reader for the holidays, while it evaluates the future of tablet computers.

Nook tablets haven't sold well amid intense competition with Apple's iPad, Amazon's Kindle Fire and others. Barnes & Noble had a slim 2 percent share of the worldwide tablet market in the fourth quarter of 2012, but fell off IDC's top 5 list this year.

The company said it isn't giving up on tablets, but it will focus on a new e-reader this year while continuing to sell last year's tablet models. The move comes as research firm IDC says the market for dedicated electronic-book readers is declining. Instead, consumers have been more interested in tablets, which can do much more, including video, email, Facebook and games.

Barnes & Noble's new e-reader, Nook GlowLight, is available in its retail stores and online starting Wednesday for $119, the same as the standard model of Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle Paperwhite reader. At 6.2 ounces, the GlowLight is 15 percent lighter than the Paperwhite. It's also ad-free, while Amazon charges $20 more for a Paperwhite without ads on its screensaver or home screen.

Barnes & Noble officials say the new e-reader's design is based partly on feedback received at the company's retail stores, where Nook devices are prominently displayed. Consumers' suggestions led to a brighter screen on the brightest setting and more durability in the form of a rubber-like silicone edge, which also provides comfort in the hands. In addition, the frame is white, not black, to match the screen color.

Jonathan Shar, general manager for emerging digital content at Barnes & Noble, said that even as attention has turned to tablets, e-readers are still popular for long-form reading. The GlowLight has an electronic ink touch screen, which has better battery life and less glare than typical tablet screens.

Unlike Kindles, which are tied to Amazon's bookstore, Nook devices are compatible with books bought at other stores that use the EPub standard, including Apple's iBookstore.

The new Nook device replaces the $99 Nook Simple Touch GlowLight model from last year. Barnes & Noble will still sell the $79 Simple Touch e-reader, without the built-in reading light, and Nook HD tablets with screens measuring 7 and 9 inches diagonally. The smaller tablet starts at $129 and the larger one at $149.

Nook's future had come into question after Barnes & Noble said in June that it would stop making its own Nook color touch-screen tablets and would farm out manufacturing to a third-party.

But its CEO left a few weeks later, and the company said instead it was reviewing its Nook strategy. Michael Huseby, the head of the company's Nook business, said in August that the 4-year-old Nook business has had some success, with 10 million devices sold and a 22 percent share in the e-book market. But he acknowledged the company had been overly optimistic about demand.

In an interview this week, Mahesh Veerina, chief operating officer for the company's Nook Media business, said Barnes & Noble will be looking to make devices that enhance the reading experience, as opposed to building an all-purpose device.

"We are evaluating our road map and product plan," he said. "We don't want to play in this general tablet market and compete with everybody."

Explore further: Apple computer sells for record $905K in NY

4.4 /5 (5 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft eyes full control of Nook

May 09, 2013

Shares in Barnes & Noble surged Thursday after a report that Microsoft was preparing a $1 billion bid for the bookseller's Nook Media digital assets.

Barnes & Noble lights up e-reader screen

Apr 12, 2012

(AP) -- Barnes & Noble says it's tackling one of the shortcomings of black-and-white e-readers, by creating a screen that can be read in the dark.

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 unveils $199 Nook Tablet

Feb 21, 2012

US bookseller Barnes & Noble unveiled a new version of its Nook tablet computer Tuesday, a device with the same $199 price tag as Amazon's Kindle Fire.

Barnes & Noble takes Nook e-reader to Britain

Aug 20, 2012

Barnes & Noble on Monday announced it will release Nook tablets in Britain in the first move by the world's largest book seller to sell the e-readers outside the United States.

Recommended for you

Apple computer sells for record $905K in NY

Oct 23, 2014

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