Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color Takes on Amazon’s Kindle

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Which e-reader will come out on top?

In December 2009, brick-and-mortar book-selling powerhouse Barnes & Noble got into the e-reader game, two years after Amazon.com’s Kindle jump-started the category. Its Nook had some distinguishing characteristics: you navigated the interface using a tiny color touchscreen that sat under its black-and-white E Ink display, for instance, and could loan out e-books to Nook-owning pals. Mostly, though, the gizmo felt like a twist on the Kindle formula, not a departure from it — and while it may have been fancier, it was also pokier and glitchier.

 

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E-Books Blowing Up At Barnes & Noble

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e-books are on the rise!

So Barnes & Noble just let loose its financial results for the last year (ending May 1), and things are looking pretty rosy, at least if you take their view of them. The main point is that the e-book store is gaining popularity and online sales are solid, while brick-and-mortar sales are, predictably, in decline. B&N’s CEO, William Lynch, chose to highlight this little statistic:

In fact, in just a brief 12 months since we launched the Barnes and Noble ebookstore, our share of the digital market already exceeds our share of the retail book market.

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Barnes & Noble Will Ship Around 60,000 Nooks This Year

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Look, look it’s a Nook!
A lot more people have ordered the Barnes & Noble Nook, first announced on October 20, than the company expected (despite getting panned by the official reviewers). The company had Foxconn, their ODM, build far fewer of them than they should have.The original plan was to ship pre-orders by November 30 but that date was pushed back to December 7. It took a mere month for the entire order process to break down. Now a small number of pre-orders still haven’t arrived and most brick and mortar stores are sold out and even then they were only available in “higher volume” stores on December 7.

B&N is assuaging those customers whose pre-orders and early orders haven’t shipped with a $100 B&N gift certificate if the device doesn’t ship by December 23. The company wrote: “With our sincerest apologies, we will send you an e-mail notification on December 23rd with a $100 Barnes&Noble.com Online Gift Certificate.”

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How The Nook Stacks Up To Kindle

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Nook

An early hint that Barnes & Noble’s brand-new Nook electronic reader is flashier than the Amazon Kindle comes when you first turn on the devices. On Kindle, you’re welcomed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. On the upstart Nook, an introduction is written by humor columnist Dave Barry. “Congratulations on your new Nook! We’re sure it will give you many years of trouble-free enjoyment until next week, when we come out with a newer version.”Barnes & Noble doesn’t need to introduce a newer Nook quite that fast, though the first version does feel unfinished and sluggish. Still, it has enormous upside and novel features.

 

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Barnes & Noble’s Powerful Multi-Touch Hybrid eReader

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Barnes & Noble e-Reader

Take a Kindle, and put a multitouch screen where the keyboard and navigation buttons go, and you’ve got the Barnes & Noble e-reader.  We’re still a week away from Barnes & Noble’s big e-reader announcement, but we’ve know they’ve had something cooking for a while now. And today, our pals at Gizmodo hit the mother load: leaked shots of a forthcoming dual-screen device that is three-quarters e-ink and one-quarter (wait for it) color multitouch.

 

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