Barnes Noble will reportedly be adding to its Nook lineup in the next few months.
The New York Times published a long piece about Barnes Noble taking on Amazon in the "fight of its life." Buried in the middle of the two-page article is a small mention of engineers "putting the final touches on their [Barnes Noble's] fifth e-reading device, a product that executives said would be released sometime this spring."
No details were offered beyond that, with a Barnes Noble spokesperson declining to comment further. But the obvious question is what is it?
tablet, perhaps a larger model (think
iPad size but with a $300-$350 price tag)? An even more affordable e-ink e-reader that might allow the company to break the sub-$50 barrier? Or perhaps something more exotic, such as an e-reader that features Qualcomm's power-efficient Mirasol color display that has started to appear in e-readers in China and Korea? (Mirasol displays can also be viewed in direct sunlight).
The other thing worth considering is whether this new e-reader will be part of the Nook's launch overseas. Barnes Noble has long been rumored to be making this move and the Times article states that the first stop abroad is "expected to be Waterstones bookstores in Britain." No word on exactly when the Nook will arrive outside the U.S., but a launch doesn't seem far off ("before long" is the time frame the Times reporter Julie Bosman suggested).
Also of note: Barnes Noble will continue to tweak the design of its brick-and-mortar stores, according to CEO William Lynch. The company will be experimenting with smaller stores and eliminating the dedicated DVD and music sections while continuing to offer movies and music "elsewhere" in the stores.