Barnes & Noble releases two new Nook devices

New Nook tabletsBarnes & Noble, the United States biggest bookstore chain, has released their new line of Nook tablets a few months before the holiday season.

The 7-inch Nook HD tablet and the 9-inch variant will hit the shelves before Apple releases their latest iPad.

The company faces tough competition from other tablet makers, including Amazon and the iPad which have been leading the tablet race for quite some time.

The 7-inch Nook HD boasts of an 8GB memory and will retail at $199, while the 9 inch Nook HD will have a 32GB memory and will be priced at $299.

The new Nook tablets will have a feature that will enable every member of the family access to the device. If you have young children who love to read ebooks, you can prevent them from reading R-rated novels by tweaking the parental controls.

Barnes & Noble first launched their nook device back in 2009 and has since revolutionized the device. The Nook has about 30% of the US ebook market.

Pre-orders for the latest Nook will begin today and shipping will start on October and will hit the shelves of American stores this November.

So what will you choose: the iPad, Nook or Kindle?

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Walmart stops selling Amazon products

Amazon has faced a few setbacks in recent years. But Walmart’s decision to stop selling Amazon products may deal a big blow to the American retail and electronics company.

According to a spokesperson of Walmart, “Recently, Walmart Stores, Inc. made a business decision to not carry current Amazon products beyond our purchase commitments and existing inventory.”

“Our customers trust us to provide a broad assortment of products at everyday low prices, and we approach every merchandising decision through this lens,” he added.

The order to stop selling Amazon products was delivered to store managers last Wednesday. This includes all the Kindle devices.

The reason to pull out Amazon products in their stores is strictly business decision.

The Walmart spokesperson added, “We will continue to offer our customers a broad assortment of tablet, eReaders and accessories at a variety of great price points. This decision is consistent with our overall merchandising strategy.”

Target has also decided to pull the plug on selling the Kindles. This is the second big company to do so.

Walmart still continues to sell Barns & Noble Nook, Apple’s iPad and other tablets.

Do you think this would greatly affect the sales of Amazon products most especially that the Holiday season is just around the corner?


Barnes & Noble to release new Nook eBook reader in spring

The New York Times published an article last Sunday regarding Barnes & Nobles taking on Amazon. It stated that they are “putting the final touches on their (Barnes & Noble’s) fifth e-reading device, a product that executives aid would be released sometime this spring”.

Unfortunately, the popular newspaper wasn’t able to get any comment from a representative from the company.

This could possibly be a new tablet. It can also be an affordable e-ink e-reader that can retail to about $50. Or it could even be an e-reader that has a Qualcomm power-efficient Mirasol color display that is now being used by e-readers in Korea and China.

Can this new e-reader be a part of the Nook’s launch outside US? Barnes & Noble is rumored to making this gamble and the Times article said that it is “expected to be a Waterstones bookstores in Britain.” Though they haven’t revealed any date as of yet but at least there is some glimmer of hope that its release could have this new feature.

It’s good to note that Barnes & Noble will continue to redesign their stores. This according to CEO William Lynch. They will investing in smaller stores and eliminate DVD and music sections while not completely removing them from their line-up as they will only move it to other stores.

Apple to release two bigger iPads?

As long as the Cupertino-based company isn’t releasing an official statement as to what they will be coming up next, the rumor mill won’t stop churning. This time however, its spawning twins.

Yes, you read that right. Speculations now center on Apple releasing two versions of  next-generation iPads next year as reported by DigiTimes.  These will reportedly target the mid- and high-end markets while the existing IPad 2 will be positioned to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the Nook.

Apparently, Apple wont be settling for smaller versions of iPad. DigiTimes also reports that the new models will be sporting 9.7-inch screens instead of the 7.85-screen that they already have. These screens will feature QXGA resolution as well as two light bars to increase brightness.

Richard Shim, a DisplaySearch analyst, has already reported last month that Apple is going to this QXGA direction. “It’s happening–QXGA, 2048×1536. Panel production has started [for the next-generation iPad]. There’s three suppliers.”

As always, we really can’t say for any certainty what these guys will be coming up. We’ll have to wait for when these devices will be supposedly unveiled on January at the iWorld conference.

Seven-inch tablet LCDs outsell 9.7-inch panels

A report from Taiwan’s DigiTimes claims that purchases from 7-inch panels has surpassed orders for 9.7-inch LCD panels. This indicates that smaller tablets like the Kindle Fire and the Nook tablet has increased their production.

Shipments for the smaller LCD panels reportedly grew by 17 percent in November. So does this mean that Apple is losing their thrown to its smaller competitors?

Maybe not.

The report also explains that the purchases for 9.7-inch panels have decreased as Apple is readying to migrate to their next generation iPad (iPad 3 maybe?) which are supposedly slated for release early next year. 

“As for 9.7-inch panel, due to Apple reportedly being ready to launch the next-generation iPad in the first half of 2012, the company’s purchasing of the panel for the existing model dropped in November, but may start pick up again as the company will need to prepare panels for the new models,” the report read.

But although this might be true, Apple would not be relaxing their reins still as Amazon’s tablet has definitely carved their share of users and already surpassing the millionth mark in sales.

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iPad 3 to be launched in February 2012

Well, at least that’s what one analyst says.

Richard Gardner, a Citi analyst, sent a research note stating that “several sources” indicates that Apple will be launching iPad 3 as much as a month earlier than the release of iPad 2 last year.

“[T]here do not appear to be any significant technical hurdles remaining,” Gardner wrote in the note first found by the Business Insider.

According to Gardner, the iPad 3 will have twice the resolution of the iPad 2. Now considering the already-very-brilliant display of the latter, that is indeed something to look forward to.

Apple is still on the top spot when we talk of tablets, but it cannot also be denied that more affordable tablets such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook are slowly gaining popularity. If Apple will indeed be releasing their most innovative tablet technology, then the company will probably gain back whatever market share they have lost to other tablets. Of course, older versions of the iPad will have their price reduced, so more consumers can afford it.

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Kindle: Most gifted item in Amazon


Before, a lot of people thought ebooks will never really be a hit and ebook readers aren’t a necessity. All of that changed with the introduction of Amazon’s Kindle.

For the first time ever, Amazon shoppers on Christmas day bought more books for their Kindles then they did the traditional paperbacks and hard-bounds.

Usually, on Christmas day, people are out there opening their received presents, not buying stuff. This time however, people who received the Kindle – and that’s a lot – immediately went to Amazon’s online store to purchase at least one ebook to try out their new gadget.

And just to show how much the Kindle has become a main-stream product, Amazon says the ebook reader is the “the most gifted item in Amazon’s history”.

Hmmn, I wonder how did its main competition – Barnes & Noble’s Nook – do during the holidays?


B&N’s Nook delayed for one week

Although Barnes & Noble is still keeping mum as to how many devices they are manufacturing, it seems very obvious to point out that it’s not just a measly number.

In a statement posted on the company’s Web site Sunday night, the book retailer says there will be a delay for the retail arrival of the Nook by one week – due of course, to high demand issue. The Nook will be hitting the stores in December 7 instead of the previously expected date of November 30.

The company has told Reuters on Sunday that there won’t be lot of stocks available in big stores when it becomes available next week.

“We expect to have them in our highest-volume stores on December 7th and in a very limited number,” Mary Ellen Keating, Barnes & Noble spokeswoman, told Reuters.

Those who pre-ordered their devices before November 20 will be receiving them before the holidays. Those who placed their orders after the said date will have to spend the holidays without the Nook in their hands, and expect to receive it sometime around January 4.

Announced in October, the Nook has been generating a huge interest (enough to cause them production delays :)) from consumers with its split-screen display, allowing for a black and white text display for the majority of the screen, and a smaller color display at the bottom used for control and navigation. Compared to the Kindle, the Nook also offers a microSD slot for memory expansion.

The Nook is being sold for $259.


Kindle gets a battery boost, native PDF reader

Since Barnes & Noble’s Nook are making huge waves in the market even before its release, Amazon’s Kindle has to keep up if they want to stay on top.

Announced today, Kindle now has an improved battery life when the wireless connection is turned on. Compared to its previous 4-hour battery life, the Kindle can now run up to seven days with the wireless activated. Battery life with the wireless connection turned off still remains, which is about two weeks.

“Battery power management for portable wireless devices is a complex technical area, and the battery life improvement announced today is the result of a six-month firmware improvement and testing program,” according to the press release.

In addition to the battery boost, Amazon has also added native PDF support to the Kindle. The company says users can now “read professional and personal documents in their original PDF format without conversion.” In order to read these PDF files, you can either email the files to your Kindle email address or transfer them via the USB connection. You can also easily convert your PDF files to the Kindle format by typing the word “Convert” in the subject of your email.

According to a press release, all new Kindles will be shipped with the battery boost and native PDF support. Users who already bought the Kindles before will be receiving the new enhancements via a firmware upgrade which will automatically be sent to them when the wireless connection is turned on.


Huge demand on the Nook delays production

Credit: Barnes & Noble

Is this finally the device to challenge the Kindle’s reign in the eBook reader market?

It sure looks like it, as Barnes and Noble, distributor of the Nook eReader, announced that it is experiencing production delays because of the huge demand for the device – and they haven’t even started shipping the devices yet.

Compared to Amazon’s Kindle which has a black and white display, the Nook provides a split-screen display, allowing for a black and white text display for the majority of the screen, and a smaller color display at the bottom.

Additional features of the Nook include Wi-Fi access capability and a touch-screen display. The device will be built on the Google Android operating system.

All of these plus access to Barnes & Noble’s extensive of library, the Nook is being marketed for $259, the same price as the Kindle. Kinda makes it an easy choice, doesn’t it? 😉