Leaked memo tips new features in update
Owners of Barnes & Noble's Simple Touch eReaders will be getting a couple of new features in the near future, if a memo leaked on Sunday bears out. The bookseller turned electronics manufacturer will be adding email and web browsing features to its eReader TechCrunch has discovered. The capabilities will be added via a software update that will bring the device to version 1.5.0 of its operating system.
Microsoft offer lower than current company value
Reports have surfaced that Microsoft is allegedly offering $1 billion to buy the digital assets of Nook Media, Barnes & Noble's venture into e-book publishing. Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft would redeem preferred units in Nook Media, which would give control of the operation to Microsoft.
Barnes & Noble discount Nook HD, HD+ for Mother's Day
Barnes & Noble has dropped the price of its Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets as part of a Mother's Day promotion. For the next week, the retailer will be selling the 7-inch Nook HD from $149 for the 8GB and $179 for the 16GB models, while the 9-inch Nook HD+ is priced at $179 for 16GB of storage and $209 for 32GB. The discounts, varying between $50 and $90 depending on model, will apply until May 12th.
Google addition to Nook HD leaves Kindle Fire as last closed Android system
Barnes & Noble is boosting the number of apps available for its Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets, by adding the Google Play store. The software update will add Play alongside the company's own app store, boosting the number of apps available to its users by over 700,000, along with the millions of songs found on Google Play Music, and other Google-supplied content.
New tools offer more author flexibility, better tracking of sales
Barnes and Noble e-publishing subsidiary Nook Media today announced the launch of Nook Press, a new self-publishing platform offering authors a fast and free way to write, edit, collaborate, and offer eBooks to avid readers. The new platform replaces the previous PubIt! platform after two and a half years of service.
Payments to be processed by Fortumo
Book retailer Barnes & Noble will be allowing Nook HD and Nook HD+ users to make in-app purchases in the future, according to a company announcement. Working with mobile payment provider Fortumo, developers of apps available through the Nook store will have the option of adding the one-click checkout payments system to their products.
Publishers, Barnes & Noble issue complaints to ICANN
Amazon has received criticism over its attempts to register new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), in complaints sent to ICANN. The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers, and competitor Barnes & Noble have all objected to applications for the suffixes .book, .author, and .read, citing the potential abuse of Amazon's market position in using the new domain endings.
Streaming service first to offer UltraViolet purchasing in UK
Literary retail chain Barnes & Noble has opened its Nook Video movie and TV store in the United Kingdom. The video service is also the first digital retailer in the UK to offer UltraViolet titles for sale, allowing customers to buy films through the system as well as registering codes from purchased DVDs and Blu-Ray discs bought in stores.
Cyanogenmod-packing microSD cards bring Android 4.1.2 to Nook Tablets
A new product called N2Acards is now available for the Nook Tablet that will let owners of the Barnes & Noble tablet choose to boot into the original Android-based OS or the full-blown Android 4.1.2. The microSD card contains Cyanogenmod-based software on them that allows the dual-boot feature, though more tech-savvy buyers can opt to just download the OS image and install it on their own.
Advises customers who have retail shopped to change PIN
Book seller Barnes & Noble confessed that customers who have shopped recently in one of 63 stores in the US may have credit card information stolen. The company had discovered about September 14 that one PIN entry pad in each of its retail store had been broken into by hackers. The company defended its decision to not inform the public until now, saying that it had informed credit card companies that accounts had been compromised, and the US attorney's office from New York said that it could wait until December 24 to tell customers.
Aims to take on Kindle with unknown UK retail partner
Barnes & Noble is planning to launch its Nook e-reader line and digital bookstore in the United Kingdom later this year. Online sales through a UK-specific website are to be supported by retail sales from mid-October onwards, in time for the Christmas holiday period. It will face stiff competition from the long-established Amazon Kindle line and WH Smith-supported Kobo e-reader.
Barnes & Noble reacts to Kindle Fire rumor-mill
Barnes & Noble has slashed the prices of its Nook e-reader and tablet devices ahead of mounting speculation that Amazon is soon to introduce an all-new Kindle Fire, reports Reuters. A Nook tablet with 16GB of storage has been cut from $249 to $199, while the 8GB model gets trimmed $20 down to $179. The Nook Color has also had a price cut, taking it from $169 to $149.
Bookseller may refresh Nook line with features new to tablets
Barnes & Noble may be rolling out the the successor to its Nook Tablet this fall. Sources familiar with the company's operations tell CNet that the bookseller will release a tablet device that will improve on the 7-inch tablets B&N has previously released. The report is low on specifics, but the device is said to be B&N's way of keeping up with Google's Nexus 7 and similar devices expected from Apple and Amazon.
Fresh rumors focus on Monday's mystery event
[Update: official response from Barnes & Noble] Rumors surrounding Microsoft's mystery announcement have continued to swirl, with the latest reports pointing to a tablet developed through a collaborative effort with bookseller Barnes & Noble. Previous rumors claim the imminent event will focus on a Microsoft-branded tablet powered by Windows, however unnamed sources have told TechCrunch that the surprise is actually a tablet/e-reader featuring Xbox Live streaming.
Target won't order new Amazon gear starting May 13
Retail chain Target has confirmed that it will stop carrying Amazon Kindle e-book readers online and at its stores, along with getting rid of all Amazon-branded accessories and gear. The news comes from a leaked internal memo obtained by The Verge and a further confirmation from the retailer. There are no specific official reasons given as to why the move is happening, citing only a "conflict of interest."
Barnes and Noble gets investment, truce
Barnes & Noble and Microsoft on Monday settled an Android patent dispute through a union. An e-reading partnership, Newco, will see Microsoft take a $300 million, or 17.6 percent, stake in a project that should merge Barnes & Noble's Nook business and its college division. In return for the funding, Barnes & Noble will make a Nook app for Windows 8 to help foster textbooks on future Microsoft-powered tablets.
Nook GlowLight ships to those who pre-ordered
Barnes & Noble is already shipping its Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight, or weeks ahead of the originally-promised schedule. Those who have pre-ordered the device will get it this week, with shipments continuing through to the end of the month. Store stock won't arrive until early in May, however, and it will be limited, B&N warned.
Mystery product appears to be branded headphones
Barnes & Noble's rumored expansion into audio products appears to be reality, as an image of an as yet unannounced product has surfaced on the company's home page. The image shows a set of sleek, gray, Nook-branded headphones.
Apple publicly responds to DOJ lawsuit
Apple after silence through the past two days responded Thursday to the Department of Justice lawsuit over alleged e-book pricing collusion. Spokesman Tom Neumayr flatly rejected the accusations when asked for comment by AllThingsD, recapping the company's objections to the European Union that the iBookstore was beneficial as it was created. The iPad-focused store kept Amazon from having excessive control and improved e-books themselves, Neumayr said, pointing out that the move beyond the Kindle format also upgraded books themselves.
Nook with GlowLight readable at nigh by itself
Barnes & Noble leapt quickly on rumors by unveiling the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight. The reader is the first to merge e-paper with edge lighting that evenly illuminates the screen in the dark without needing an add-on or an outside light. The trick is meant for couples that don't want to interrupt a sleeping partner, but it also has an advantage for anyone that doesn't want to buy a clip-on reading light.
ACCC asking for concerns over e-book fairness
The Australia Competition and Consumer Commission is considering taking the same path that the US Department of Justice did in confronting Apple and publishers over e-book pricing. Regulators have been asking Australian retailers whether they thought publishers were rigging pricing in the country. There were "competition concerns" whenever a company wanted to curb the ability to put a product on sale, the agency said.
Galaxy Tab 2 to compete mainly on price
Samsung late Wednesday detailed the US launch plans for a trio of its main Android tablet devices for the year. The Galaxy Tab 2 line will come to the US in both 7.0- and 10.1-inch forms with their dual-core 1GHz processors, Android 4.0, three-megapixel rear camera and VGA front cameras intact. The two are considered lower-cost versions of original Galaxy Tab ancestors but do have unique support for infrared remote control using Peel's Smart Remote app.
Nook Simple Touch to be first with light-up screen
Barnes & Noble looks likely to preempt Amazon's front-lit Kindle with an e-reader of its own. A leaked instance of in-store signage at The Digital Reader shows the Nook Simple Touch getting "GlowLight," a nickname for a system that evenly illuminates the display despite coming from the edges. Although not mentioned in the ad, the effect is easier on the eyes than an LCD backlight.
Google e-book resales shift back to Play store
Google gave notice Thursday that it was ending its e-book reseller program. The effort, which let physical retailers and other third parties resell from Google Play Books, had "not gained the traction" Google wanted. A current set of 16 partners would be phasing out as the service wound down by the end of January.
Nook Audio may be accessory or new feature
Barnes & Noble is readying a mystery product that could lead to an expansion into audio. A product page for a Nook Audio has shown up on Barnes & Noble's own online store with an OE250 model name. AS the name isn't connected to existing Nooks and hasn't cleared the FCC, it may be a speaker dock, wireless speakers, or headphones for the Nook Color or Nook Tablet.
Version 3.1.3 of Nook for iPad supports new iPad
Barnes & Noble has just released an updated version of its Nook for iOS app (free, App Store). It has been optimized for the new iPad and its Retina display with sharper graphics, words, and images. Otherwise, 3.1.3 brings with it more reading options, letting users have single- or dual-column views when in landscape orientation on the tablet, like in an actual book. The highlight feature is also now much easier.
Leaks have Apple giving up lowest-price claue
Apple may be ready to make important concessions to settle a possible Department of Justice lawsuit over e-book pricing, a pair of sources claimed Friday. Although not concrete, a deal could come "in the next few weeks," the Reuters insiders said. The core of the deal would revolve around Apple dropping its "most favored nation" clause, which bars publishers from offering a lower price at other stores.
B&N may be planning to launch Nook in Germany
Barnes & Noble may soon bring its Nook Tablet to Germany, as it recently incorporated a new company in the country. Called Barnes & Noble Digital Media GmbH, the company was created on March 15, which also nearly coincided with a visit to London to interest developers in creating apps for the seven-inch tablet.
Amazon may have up to 4 tablets in 2012
Amazon's rumored Kindle Fire lineup expansion might get larger still based on an unusually specific rumor late Wednesday. There would be "at least two" new Kindle Fire models in 2012, Digitimes insisted, with as many as four depending on Amazon's ambitions. A 10.1-inch model was supposedly on track for July shipments and would aim at the $249 to $299 price range, with HannsTouch supposedly joining TPK and Wintek in making touch panels.
Amazon may go high and low on 7in, add 8.9in
New rumors have surfaced claiming that Amazon will have a much wider strategy for its next-generation Kindle Fire tablets than thought. Taiwan Economic News claimed that the 8.9-inch version would be joined by two seven-inch models. One would have the 1024x600 display of the original, while a high-end version would get a 1280x800 display; the 8.9-inch version would supposedly have a 1920x1200 screen and thus compete even with the new iPad for pixel density.
2012 iPad LCD given top marks
Continuing some of the more in-depth examinations of the new iPad, a detailed screen comparison at DisplayMate has shown a major improvement in Apple's tablet display quality, albeit at a cost. While the 2048x1536 resolution is an obvious advantage, the display analysis team saw that the new screen saw big improvements in other areas, most of all color accuracy. While the iPad 2's display got just 61 percent of the standard color range, the new iPad's screen was near-flawless, with 99 percent accuracy on top of "perfect" contrast and gamma levels.
Conde Nast explains reader data for iPad mags
Conde Nast took an important step towards giving tablet magazines a foothold by outlining regular readership data for its rapidly growing tablet apps. Advertisers and others who need it will now get both the usual subscription and one-time sales as well as metrics that can't be tracked with paper. The stats will show how often a reader opened an issue and how much total time they spent with it, showing the real engagement and whether an issue was effective.
Nook Comics now in general Android app
Barnes & Noble exported its Nook Comics experience to other devices through an update to its Nook for Android app (Google Play Store) on Tuesday. The 3.1 update lets any Android tablet using Android 2.2 or newer get access to the bookstore's collection of comics and graphic novels, ranging from Dark Horse to IDW and Marvel. Comics get added treatment within the app, including thumbnails for the table of contents.
IDC optimistic on tablets, Android's chances
IDC on Tuesday gave its own breakdown of world tablet share from this fall and painted an optimistic look at Android's position in the market. Going higher than others' estimates, the research team believed that Amazon shipped 4.7 million Kindle Fires, or enough to stake out 16.8 percent of tablets worldwide. Along with a slight gain from Samsung to 5.8 percent, the prediction would have knocked Apple down from 61.5 percent last summer to 54.7 percent in the last few months of 2011.
Almost 200 titles will be available by year's end
In January 2011,
Amazon launched its digital
Kindle Singles library. The collection features works that are longer in length than articles, but shorter than books. MocoNews reports that, in the 15 months since the store opened its doors, more than two million of the works have been purchased and downloaded.
100+ titles available through Nook Comics store
Both Barnes & Noble and Kobo have started to offer Dark Horse Comics' graphic novels for the Nook Tablet, Nook Color, and Kobo Vox. Over 100 of the company's titles will be available for purchase and downloading through the Nook Comics and Kobo stores. Previously, they had been available for iOS devices.
Amazon tries self-publishing outside of Kindle
Amazon is making a rare effort to branch out in its e-book publishing beyond the Kindle through a new deal with author James Atlas that was outlined on Friday. A new 12-book biography line, Amazon Lives, will be edited by Atlas and published in e-book form in other stores, the New York Times was understood. Which stores would get it weren't mentioned, although it's unlikely to involve the Nook store given active bans on Amazon material over Barnes & Noble's objection to digital exclusives on the Kindle.
ITC says Barnes and Noble can't talk antitrust
The International Trade Commission finished the week by denying Barnes & Noble its attempt to renew antitrust claims against Microsoft. A judge had taken belated evidence from the Nook designer into account but still decided that the original decision, that there wasn't enough evidence to suggest Microsoft was abusing patents, would stand. The verdict didn't necessarily side with Microsoft, but left Barnes & Noble withe option only of challenging Microsoft's claims that it violates patents.
Mini iPad gets late 2012 arrival date
Apple's long rumored smaller iPad was given a tentative production timeline in a rumor late Wednesday. Sample units were supposed by Digitimes' part supplier sources to be going out for testing, but production was still some distance away. It wouldn't start production until summer "at the earliest," according to the tip.
HP tops notebook-only charts
Apple was the lead mobile PC vendor in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the rest of the year, at least when including tablets, an NPD DisplaySearch report shows. The company shipped just under 23.4 million MacBooks and iPads in the fourth quarter, and more than 62.8 million for the entire year. NPD observes, though, that almost 80 percent of Apple's numbers were iPads, estimated at 18.7 million in Q4, and 48.4 million for the whole year.
Will allocate more than 1GB for personal use
Barnes & Noble will be giving Nook Tablet owners more flexibility in how they can use the device's internal memory. Starting March 12, owners of the 16GB version will be able to repartition their memory so that 12GB of the 13GB usable memory that had been pre-allocated to Nook Store content can be used for other personal content. The 8GB model, which was launched just yesterday, reserves 1GB for store content and offers 4GB for personal content.
Microsoft says Motorola abusing video patents
Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Dave Heiner in a posting confirmed company was echoing Apple's strategy and filing a formal complaint against Motorola with the European Commission. The new dispute, like Apple's, alleges that Motorola is abusing standards-based patents by trying to charge unreasonable rates to license technology. Microsoft's case centered around elements like the H.264 video codec and Wi-Fi that are at the heart of Motorola's lawsuits both in Europe and the US.
Barnes and Noble intros cheaper Nook Tablet
Barnes & Noble fired its return shot against the Kindle Fire on Tuesday by introducing an 8GB version of the Nook Tablet. Its edition cuts the storage in half, and lowers the RAM to 512MB, but is otherwise functionally identical to the 16GB original. The two choices trim $50 off the price to hit $199, or as much as the Nook Tablet's Amazon counterpart.
Barnes & Noble set to tackle Kindle Fire head-on
Barnes & Noble looks set to tackle the hot-selling Amazon Kindle Fire head-on by releasing a reduced storage capacity version of its Nook Color sequel, the Nook Tablet. According to the The Verge, it has received documentation purported to be from Walmart showing that it is set to release an 8GB model at 12:01 AM on Wednesday, February 22. Currently, the 16GB version of the Nook Tablet retails at $249, suggesting that Barnes & Noble aims to get close to, equal, or beat the pricing of the Kindle Fire at $199.
Study shows Kindle Fire hurting Android rivals
A rare breakdown of tablet market share by IHS iSuppli has shown that the Kindle Fire may be doing more damage to other Android manufacturers than to Apple. Amazon was estimated to have shipped 3.9 million units in the fall, or enough to get it 14 percent of the market. While this dropped the iPad's 15.4 million units from 64 percent share to 57, other Android supporters lost over a quarter of their own share.
Steps to eliminate Android not antitrust
Late last month, an International Trade Commission (ITC) Administrative Law Judge threw out Barnes & Noble's key claims in its patent dispute with Microsoft that the software company was abusing patents it held on elements of the Android OS in order to push the operating system out of the market. Earlier this week, an edited copy of the judge's ruling was made available to the public (PDF). The judge was now known to have been of the opinion that, while Microsoft's actions were "hard bargaining," they didn't represent misuse of the patents.
Barnes and Noble may win Microsoft case after all
ITC staff lawyer Jeff Hsu in a discussion Monday said he would recommend to Administrative Law Judge Theodore Essex that Barnes & Noble hadn't violated the three patents at the heart of a Microsoft lawsuit. The recommendation isn't binding, but could be a strong clue as to the ruling Judge Essex may make on April 27.
ITC disagrees Microsoft abusing patents
The International Trade Commission gave an initial ruling Tuesday that Barnes & Noble couldn't bring its antitrust claims against Microsoft. An Administrative Law Judge granted Microsoft's motion to dismiss the claims that it was abusing patents to try and squeeze Android out of the market. Details of the full ruling were still unpublished, but the Office of Unfair Import Investigations had already hinted that Barnes & Noble wasn't passing legal muster on issues such as licensing, which isn't compulsory for Microsoft.
Barnes and Noble will not stock Amazon at retail
Barnes & Noble's chief merchandising officer Jaime Carey issued a statement declaring that the company's retail stores wouldn't carry Amazon's paper books. The move was in retaliation for Amazon trying to push for e-book exclusives such as its DC Comics deal. A publisher that as a store operator would pull its content wasn't a "good publishing partner," the CMO said.
Barnes and Noble tries third-gen Nook reader
Barnes & Noble in an elaborate study of its business gave away plans for a third-generation Nook e-reader. Scant details were given to the New York Times, but it would ship sometime in the spring. The bookseller's recently established pattern suggests it's an E Ink reader like the Nook Simple Touch rather than an Android tablet.