Barnes & Noble Launching New Nook May 24

Barnes & Noble New Nook
Barnes & Noble has sent out invitations to a May 24 event in New York City to announce a new e-reader device, most likely a new Nook.

Barnes & Noble has not indicated what the event will cover, with PR firm Fleishman refusing to take a page from Apple's playbook and tease audiences with what the announcement could include.

However, in a May 4 10K filing, Barnes & Noble disclosed that the May 24 announcement would indeed be an e-reader. "In a meeting with investor analysts on May 4, 2011, Barnes & Noble, Inc. (the "Company") indicated it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011 regarding the launch of a new eReader device," the company said, without elaborating.

Barnes & Noble now represents more than 25 percent of all of the U.S. market for e-books, more than the company's share of physical books, and it sells twice the number of e-books as physical books, at least online. The company exceeded its sales plans for e-book sales during the company's most recent quarter.It is the fourth straight quarter of topline growth exceeding 50 percent since selling the Nook in 2009.

As an e-reader with tablet functionality, the Nook wouldn't seem to have many features that it lacks compares to other e-readers. The Nook is available in color, and in both Wi-Fi, and in 3G, although speculation is that version is dying.

"It remains early in the development of the digital reading market," said William Lynch, the chief executive of Barnes & Noble, in a conference call on Feb. 22.

What could Barnes & Noble offer, perhaps in a Nook 2?

1.) Better battery life. According to review, the battery life was only eight hours, using a color LCD. Barnes & Noble could either improve the Nook with a more effective battery (longer battery life with the same weight and depth) or else feature a hardware redesign, like a...

2.) Return to E Ink? Barnes & Noble has touted the Nook's color LCD display as a competitive advantage. But if customers are turning to low-power E-Ink, perhaps we could see a "Nook Mini" catering to text and battery life, or just an update to the original Nook.

3.) A pure tablet? Reports claim that Amazon has two tablets in the works. Could Barnes & Noble have jumped the gun with its own tablet? It's not out of the question, if Barnes & Noble also plans to run an app store, much like Amazon has.

4.) A simpler redesign. The last possibility is the simplest: a refined redesign, with no great leaps forward. While Barnes & Noble is profitable (especially after beginning to sell the Nook), it doesn't have the clout of Amazon. Content partnerships would be likely, however.

Posted by @ Wednesday, 18 May 2011 0 comments

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