The increase in U.S. adults who own e-readers is outpacing the growth of tablet owners, according to a new phone survey by the Pew Internet Project.
Adults who owned ereaders like Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook doubled from 6 percent of the U.S. adult population in November 2010 to 12 percent in May 2011, according to the survey of 2,277 respondents aged 18 and over. The survey was conducted in both English and Spanish.
Over the same period, the share of adults who said they owned a tablet such as Apple's iPad grew as well, but by just 3 percentage points. About 5 percent of respondents in an earlier Pew survey from November of last year said they owned a tablet, while 8 percent said they did in the most recent one, conducted between April 26 and May 22.
Today, Barnes & Noble unveiled their revamped Nook e-reader, which they are calling the Simple Touch Reader.
The $139 device is available for pre-order immediately and will be in stores on or around June 10 at Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Walmart, and Staples.
The Android-based, e-reader measures 5 x 6.5 inches and weighs less than 7.5 ounces, which is 35 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner than the first Nook. During a New York launch event, B&N CEO William Lynch promised the "longest battery life of any e-reader," or up to two months on a single charge, and 80 percent less flashing on the 6-inch touch screen; the white-out that occurs when flipping pages. There is 50 percent less contrast than the first-edition Nook.
The device has built-in Wi-Fi and will feature 2GB of onboard storage, expandable up to 32GB with microSDHC. It runs Android 2.1 and a 800MHz TI OMAP3 processor.
Read More | Nook Simple Touch Reader
Barnes & Noble has not indicated what the event will cover, with PR firm Fleishman refusing to take a page from Apple's playbook and tease audiences with what the announcement could include.
However, in a May 4 10K filing, Barnes & Noble disclosed that the May 24 announcement would indeed be an e-reader. "In a meeting with investor analysts on May 4, 2011, Barnes & Noble, Inc. (the "Company") indicated it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011 regarding the launch of a new eReader device," the company said, without elaborating.
Barnes & Noble now represents more than 25 percent of all of the U.S. market for e-books, more than the company's share of physical books, and it sells twice the number of e-books as physical books, at least online. The company exceeded its sales plans for e-book sales during the company's most recent quarter.It is the fourth straight quarter of topline growth exceeding 50 percent since selling the Nook in 2009.
As an e-reader with tablet functionality, the Nook wouldn't seem to have many features that it lacks compares to other e-readers. The Nook is available in color, and in both Wi-Fi, and in 3G, although speculation is that version is dying.
"It remains early in the development of the digital reading market," said William Lynch, the chief executive of Barnes & Noble, in a conference call on Feb. 22.
What could Barnes & Noble offer, perhaps in a Nook 2?
Barnes & Noble is readying an updated e-reader, the company revealed in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
"In a meeting with investor analysts on May 4, 2011, Barnes & Noble ... indicated it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011 regarding the launch of a new eReader device," the notice said.
The company provided no other details about what the updated e-reader might entail. The last major Nook upgrade was the Nook Color (pictured above,) which started shipping in November. The Android-based device includes a 7-inch touch screen and access to more than 2 million titles, as well as an extra-wide viewing angle intended for sharing. The screen boasts 1,024-by-600 resolution and 169 pixels per inch. It comes with 8GB of storage, expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card.
In late April, Barnes & Noble pushed out a major software update to the Nook Color, which included its own app store, an email client, the ability to play Flash video, and enhanced books. It also added support for Android 2.2 "Froyo" and Adobe Flash video.
We're been keeping our eye on gadgets that are worthy of being given to your mom for Mother's Day, and we've got another one for you. eBay has a deal where you get 50% off the Nook Wi-Fi + 3G e-reader. Original price on these is $199, and you get it direct from Barnes & Noble for $99 - and that includes shipping! There's a limit of one per customer. If you're interested, head on over:
Read More | Nook 3G deal on eBay
Famous authors won't lose the ability to autograph their books in the digital age if Barnes & Noble has anything to say about it. With a firmware upgrade, the Nook Color will reportedly allow authors to sign their books with a stylus. The first "e-book signing" is scheduled for next week.
Authors will need to put their Sharpies down, and instead use a stylus to sign a book directly on the Nook Color's touchscreen, and the e-reader will store the signature on that digital copy of the book. Presumably, the signature would be visible to anyone who reads it, even friends who borrow the book on the Nook platform, essentially converting bragging rights to digital form.
Yesterday the Nook Color received a major software upgrade—adding apps, an email client, and Adobe Flash compatibility—but the new autograph feature appears to be separate from that. A company called Autography has patented software for writing autographs on e-books, but it's not known whether the Nook feature uses that technique or something different.
The Kindle Lending Library will launch later this year, and will allow Kindle customers to borrow books from more than 11,000 libraries in the U.S. The offer will apply to all generations of Kindle e-books and Kindle reading apps.
Unlike physical library books, users will be able to make notes in the margins of their borrowed e-books. When they "return" it, those notes will not be visible to the next borrower, but if the customer checks the book out again or decides to buy it, their notes will remain intact.
"We're doing a little something extra here," Jay Marine, director of Amazon Kindle, said in a statement. "Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we're extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced."
A Kindle spokeswoman said the borrowed books will be in Kindle format.
AT&T will include the Kindle in its connected devices section. The Kindle 3G will connect to the Web over Wi-Fi and AT&T's 3G network, allowing users to wirelessly download books, magazines, newspapers, and blogs on the 6-inch device. It sells for $189 and can hold up to 3,500 books.
Workbridge, a job recruiting organization, has the details for a job on Los Angeles' west side: an unnamed arts/entertainment/media company is looking for Front End Developer.
If you're familiar with West L.A. you might think that phrase has something to do with plastic surgery. Well, it doesn't.
This unnamed company specializes in online comics and ebooks.
And if you have design experience that's a plus. So is experience with Python or other Back End technologies, and that's not a plastic surgeon's phrase either.
Good luck, job seekers!
[Artwork: Mr. iPad]
Amazon released some facts about their Christmas Holidays, and among them we find out that the Kindle 3 is their best selling product ever, eclipsing Harry Potter which held the spot with the Deathly Hallows. Other facts include Christmas day itself having seen more people download more Kindle Buy Once and Read Everywhere apps ever, and the most popular book on Kindle was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Some other Holidays best sellers were The Confession: A Novel by John Grisham, Decision Points by George Bush and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. On the site's peak day, November 29, 13.7 million items were ordered worldwide. Another interesting tidbit is the fact that Amazon is seeing many people who buy Kindles also have another tablet such as the iPad. It seems the e-ink display of the Kindle, and it's low price point, may be enough incentive for readers, even if they already own another device.
Read More | Corporate-IR
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