In what has become an increasingly competitive e-book market, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, its e-reader, has slowly emerged as the leading competitor with Amazon and its Kindle products.
The new Nook is slated for release in early May. It is six inches long, weighs seven ounces, and will cost $139. The glowing property of the e-reader will allow readers to read in the dark without disturbing their sleeping partners, Barnes and Noble execs say. While most readers in the dark nowadays use the iPad or some other Apple product, the LCD screens emit more light than necessary for reading purposes.
And for Kindle Touch readers, buying an external light was previously a necessity. The new Nook makes such a purchase unnecessary.
“Having to clip on the light at night, there is the consumer cost of the hassle factor,” Lynch said about reading with the Kindle in a recent interview, according to Businessweek. “[The glow feature] is the biggest revolution in the dedicated single-purpose e-reader market since the launch of the Kindle in 2007.”
Though Barnes and Noble is celebrating its new technology, market experts say Amazon will come up with a similar glowing feature in no time.
“If Amazon isn’t already working on one, they will immediately start working on one now after today’s announcement,” Forrester analyst James McQuivey said, according to Reuters.
Barnes and Noble was encountering financial obstacles earlier this year as consumers have drifted away from paper books and gone for e-readers, which are smaller, lighter, and make book purchases easy and quick. The Kindle was taking much of the market share, and, in an attempt to salvage it company, Barnes and Noble invested millions in the Nook.
“We are investing a lot but we feel good that those investments will pay off,” Barnes and Noble Chief Executive William Lynch said in an interview last Thursday with Reuters.
Lynch estimated the Nook currently hold almost thirty percent of the digital book market share.
The light on the new product can be turned off when used outside, and has a battery that can last with the glow on for a month without Wi-Fi.
For Barnes and Noble, the Nook will be marketed to those interested in e-readers and loyal Barnes and Noble patrons.
“To its core base, [the new Nook release] says, ‘we are still committed to this,’ but if you owned a Kindle for years, there’s no way you’re going to move to Barnes & Noble at this point,” McQuivey, the Forrester analyst, said.