If you were for some reason holding out for a cheaper frontlit e-reader, Barnes & Noble today has some good news: The company has dropped the price of its Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight from $120 to $100.
Considering that the device is over a year old by this point, a price cut is probably overdue. The drop in price also sets the stage for a followup to the Nook with Glowlight, which is expected this fall.
The problem, however, is that it’s not clear who is going to be going for a new e-reader at this point. E-Ink Holdings, the company that sells e-ink screens to the likes of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, reported on Friday a 46 percent drop in sales – it’s biggest in four years.
While E-Ink Holdings attributed much of the loss to e-reader makers shifting their new product release cycles to the fall, the company also said that planned to shift some of its focus away from e-readers. In other words, it sees the writing on the wall (though it did not growth outside the US).
Barnes & Noble’s price drop also comes two months after the company announced that it would no longer make its own Nook tablet hardware. While the company said at the time that it planned to continue manufacturing its Nook e-reader hardware, it’s not tough to imagine a time when its e-readers will go the same route as its tablets.
All of that, of course, is speculation. But here’s what we do know: The Nook is now $99, making it the only reader of its kind at that price point (the Kindle and Kobo sell for $120 and $130, respectively). In the short-term, that’s probably the most important thing to keep in mind.