Barnes and Noble, Amazon slash eBook reader prices

Barnes and Noble, Amazon slash eBook reader prices

The Barnes & Noble Nook electronic book reader, right, and the Kindle 2 ebook reader are displayed for a photograph in New York, U.S., on Friday, Dec. 4, 2009. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Barnes & Noble announced Monday a new version of its Nook electronic book reader that supports only a Wi-Fi connection and is priced at $149. It also cut the price on the 3G Nook model to $199.  In response to this, Amazon cut the price of its Kindle eBook reader to $189 with free Two Day shpping, much lower than its previous price of $259.  Amazon has lowered the Kindle’s price several times since it debuted in 2007 at $399.

According to Tony Astarita, vice president for digital products at Barnes &, the new Nook was built in response to market research and customer feedback. “It’s targeted at someone who’s a solid reader but someone with Wi-Fi availability at home or outside the home and is not as mobile a traveler or reader as a 3G person,” he told PCWorld.

At $149, the new Wi-Fi Nook is competitive with the Sony Pocket Reader and the Kobe e-reader from competing mega-bookseller Borders. However, neither of those competing readers support Wi-Fi and the Sony product has only a five-inch screen compared to a six-inch display for the Nook. In addition to offering free Wi-Fi access within its stores, it allows Nook users to read any electronic book without purchasing it within stores, as well as offering free content and coupon deals.

Other distinctive features include time-limited lending of books between users of the Nook platform, which includes software that runs on a variety of mobile devices, including Apple’s iPad. “Our strategy is any book, any time, any place,” Astarita observed.

The new Nook is a half ounce lighter than its 3G sibling and has a white, rather than gray, back panel. What’s more, it, as well as its 3G relative, offers complementary access to some 20,000 AT&T wireless hotspots across the country.

About The Author

Jamie is a co-founder and senior editor at Technigrated, covering all facets of the tech industry. In addition to working at Technigrated, Jamie is a Founding Partner of NBR Design Studio, a graphic and web design and hosting firm headquartered in Bethany Beach, DE.

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