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October 2009
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Barnes & Noble e-Reader release possible in November

While release of international Kindle 2 may have been the biggest move by Amazon since Kindle was originally released on the November 19, 2007, it is going to face some serious competition this holiday season. According to Wall Street Journal, Barnes and Noble may start selling their own device as early as November.

The device will have:

  • 6 inch grayscale E-Ink screen
  • Touchscreen interface with virtual keyboard
  • 3G Wireless via AT&T to download eBooks from Barnes & Noble store

Amtek International Co filed the request for FCC approval on behalf of Barnes & Noble and the approval was given in September.

To me the Barnes&Noble device seems like Sony PRS-600 but with 3G wireless. And this just might make a huge difference and make the device competitive. I’ve been playing around with my PRS-600 and so far found touchscreen to be a mixed blessing. It’s hard to tell how it will be with B&N reader as it depends on the implementation. However with 3G wireless¬†unless B&N will totally blow it will be a device comparable to Kindle. With iRex and Plastic Logic readers also compatible with their store consumers will have more choice in hardware and this can be an advantage for B&N as eBook vendor.

On the other hand Amazon is still several steps ahead of the competition with the recent international release of Kindle 2 as well as established hi-end Kindle DX product line.

It will be an interesting holiday season for eBook industry. Depending on how it plays out for all the companies involved it may shape the future of the whole market for the years to come.

I was about to publish this post when I came by a peculiar rumor leak at gizmodo: they claim that Barnes&Noble eReader will run Google’s Android OS. Personally I find it highly unlikely though definitely intriguing.

6 comments to Barnes & Noble e-Reader release possible in November

  • BobW

    Why do you think it’s unlikely that the B&N reader would run Android?

    The Kindle runs a Linux variant. Android is a Linux variant already optimised for a handheld device.

  • admin

    Because it’s optimized for completely different kind of devices. It has different screen, different power management requirements, etc. For example from my experience with Sony PRS-600 Touch Edition – virtual keyboard on eInk provides very bad experience.
    And why put android there? Low refresh rate of eInk would make 99% of the apps unusable even if B&N would pay for the Internet traffic associated with the apps.

  • Kevin Pilgrim

    Do zou think the kndle 2 has the best stuuf in it for its price? I mean you get 3g and so on .. or is there a better ebook reader?

  • Jeffrey

    Competition is good. It sparks innovation and lowers prices.

  • admin

    Kevin Pilgrim,
    That would depend on what you look for in a book reader. If you want to read books – Kindle is 100% the way to go. If PDF support is important to you – then you might want to have a look at Sony PRS-600 Touch edition as it has better PDF support.

  • BobW


    I’m not a Linux hacker. I don’t even play one on TV. I do know that what many people think of as complicated device drivers often turn out to be configuration files in UNIX. Linux is similar.

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