Publishers expected to pay out over $162 million
Two of the five publishers accused of conspiring with Apple to inflate e-book prices, Macmillan and Penguin, have started issuing emails to e-book customers, informing them of rights, responsibilities, and proposed terms in the legal settlement the companies negotiated. Under current terms, the publishers would distribute approximately $162.25 million to customers who bought e-books at any digital outlet between the iBookstore's launch on April 1st, 2010 and May 21st, 2012.
Steps into territory dominated by Amazon, Netflix
Barnes & Noble is releasing iOS, Android, Nook, and Roku apps for its Nook Video service, according to an announcement. The apps let people watch movies and TV shows that they've rented or bought from the service, as well as items in a person's UltraViolet collection. In the case of the mobile apps, videos can be downloaded for offline viewing; when a video is streamed, though, progress is automatically synced between devices.
Would undo one of the stricter App Store rules
The Department of Justice has published proposed settlement terms that could force Apple to allow apps to link to outside e-book stores. Last month, the DoJ emerged victorious against Apple in a trial over e-book price fixing. Apple was accused of conspiring with publishers to artificially inflate e-book prices, in particular with the aim of undermining Amazon's once-standard $10 pricetag for Kindle titles. Modern, high-profile e-books are usually priced closer to $13 or $14.
Witnesses to include current iTunes, iBookstore heads
The Department of Justice's antitrust case against Apple is entering its final four days this week, according to Fortune. The original orchestrator of Apple's publisher deals for the iBookstore, Eddy Cue, is resuming court testimony today, having last testified on Thursday afternoon. Today's topics are expected to include a dinner Cue had with Macmillan's CEO, and disputed emails written to Cue by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Barnes and Noble to offer a free Simple Touch reader with Nook HD+ buy
Book seller Barnes and Noble announced today that it will be offering a free Simple Touch e-book reader to purchasers of the Nook HD+ tablet starting next week. The Simple Touch was reduced to $79 after a winter of poor sales, and the move may be an attempt to clear the sales channel of the nearly year-old device. The deal is not yet active on the Barnes and Noble website, which currently boasts a $50 credit with the purchase of the Nook HD+ device.
Kindle Fire, other tablets make slight gains
The iPad maintained an overwhelming control of US and Canadian tablet web usage during the holiday season, according to new tracking data from online ad network Chitika. The iPad started at nearly 90 percent in early December, but only slid to roughly 81 percent by the end of January, in spite of increased competition from Android tablets. The biggest shift is said to have happened around Christmas, when Apple briefly dipped to 79 percent while other tablets gained ground.
Samsung, ASUS gain ground
Although the iPad remains the best-selling tablet, Apple's share of the tablet market dropped 8.1 points year-over-year during the last quarter -- albeit based on shipments rather than actual sales to end users, according to new iDC numbers. Shipments rose from 15.1 million to 22.9 million, but the company's marketshare dipped from 51.7 percent to 43.6 percent. Much of the lost ground was claimed by Samsung, which saw share rise from 7.3 percent to 15.1 percent, and shipments rise from 2.2 million to 7.9 million. ASUS also made large strides, advancing from a two percent share and just 600,000 shipments to a 5.8 percent share and 3.1 million tablets shipped.
Barnes and Noble cuts prices on 8GM, 16GB Nook Tablet
Barnes and Noble is reducing the prices of some of its e-reader devices again. The price for the Nook Color will drop on November 4 to $139, the 8GB Nook Tablet will be $159, and the 16GB Nook Tablet will fall to $179. The cut arrives nearly in parallel with the shipment of the Nook HD and HD+, both available on November 8.
Barnes & Noble cuts price of Simple Touch to tackle new Kindle
Barnes & Noble has dropped the price of its Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight e-reader by $20. The price cut puts the Barnes & Nobles premiere e-reader at the same price point as the new Kindle Paperwhite, which also starts at $119. However, the key differentiator between the two is the Kindle Paperwhite requires an additional $20 fee if users want to avoid Amazon advertising.
Barnes & Noble roll out light weight tablets, with Android ICS
Barnes & Noble has launched the latest salvo in it ongoing e-reader and tablet war with Amazon by releasing its new Nook HD+ and Nook HD tablets. The Nook HD+ is aimed at tackling the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD with a 9-inch display. The new Nook HD shares the same 7-inch screen dimensions as Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. Both sets of devices from the two companies also share the same dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor.
Movie service includes UltraViolet account linking
Bookseller chain Barnes & Noble will be creating its own downloadable video store in the fall, the company announced. Nook Video will allow users to buy movies and TV shows, and watch them on TVs and smartphones, as well as other handhelds such as the Nook Tablet. The move brings it in line with competitor Amazon's own Instant Video offering, complete with soon-to-launch free Nook Video apps.
Amazon Kindle Fire follows close behind
Apple has scored highest in a new JD Power customer satisfaction survey of tablet owners. The iPad has earned Apple a score of 848 -- above an industry average of 832 -- as well as five stars in JD Power's Power Circle ratings. Close behind with a 4/5 rating and a score of 841 is Amazon, which has so far only had one tablet computer, the 2011 model of the Kindle Fire. New Fires were recently announced.
Ingram services Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo stores
Amazon Publishing's New York arm has signed a deal with media vendor Ingram to distribute its ebooks through other sales venues. CoreSource, Ingram's digital distribution channel, will distribute the ebook rights to Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Kobo. Although e-books are "supplied" by Ingram, the choice remains with the vendor if it chooses to supply Amazon-published e-books.
Claims agency pricing a boon to industry
Bookseller Barnes & Noble has sent a complaint to the US Department of Justice regarding a proposed settlement in the latter's case against e-book price fixing, says paidContent. The DOJ has proposed a settlement with publishers HarperCollins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster, who were all accused of colluding to keep e-book prices artificially high by moving to an agency model. In its complaint, B&N claims that the settlement "represents an unprecedented effort" by the DOJ to become "a regulator of a nascent technology that it little understands," and that e-book and hardcover prices have actually fallen under the agency system.
HP leads in actual notebook share
Apple led the market in mobile PC shipments during the March quarter, at least when including the iPad, according to preliminary NPD data. The company shipped 17.2 million iPads and MacBooks, representing a 118 percent jump year-over-year, and 22.5 percent marketshare during Q1. About 80 percent of those units were iPads though, whereas the other top sellers succeeded on the basis of notebook shipments.
Apple cracks down on high-profile rules offenders
Following a sudden disappearance, the Google Books iOS app has returned to the App Store with an update, v188.8.131.5283. Google's release notes claim only that "minor enhancements and bug fixes" have been made. In reality, the focus appears to have been stripping a button for Google's eBookstore.
Tech integral to modern cellular systems
Apple, Amazon, Nokia, Research in Motion and several other companies are all violating patents related to GPRS networking, a new lawsuit alleges. The plaintiff is GPNE, a company based in Honolulu, Hawaii. GPRS is the basic data platform associated with modern GSM phone networks. 3G, in the form of HSPA, represents an additional layer.
Barnes and Noble confirms Nook reader on May 24
Barnes & Noble unusually chose to confirm plans for a future Nook with an SEC filing on Wednesday. The posting says only that an unveiling for a "new eReader device" was planned for May 24. It remained silent on details but admitted that it had been forced to make the filing after it hinted at plans in an analyst meeting.
Barnes & Noble launches SDK v1.0 for Nook Color
Barnes & Noble has now released a software development kit for the Nook Color e-reader. The Nook Color runs on Android 2.1 and is compatible with the Android SDK, but the book giant has released Nook SDK 1.0 to help developers create apps for the device. Included in the first SDK are an Android Virtual Device Emulator, Android Debug Bridge (ADB) configuration settings and sample code.
Google Editions bookstore near opening
Google's long promised Editions e-bookstore is near launching, both official and unofficial sources said today. Project management lead Scott Dougall confirmed that the bookstore was on track to launch in the US by the end of the year and internationally in early 2011. While this would give Google four weeks to go, publishers told the WSJ that they were already uploading books and thus that Editions could be ready sooner in that timeframe.
ChangeWave says iPad, Kindle gaps narrowing
The gap between iPad and Kindle ownership is closing fast not just in ownership but in the way owners actually use their devices, ChangeWave found today. Of its current pool of respondents, 32 percent claimed in November to have an iPad as their e-reader. The portion was still lower than Amazon's 47 percent but is much closer than in August, when 62 percent claimed to use a Kindle and just 16 percent pointed to their iPads.
Barnes and Noble Q3 saved by Nook, expansion plans
Barnes & Noble plans to claim a large part of the e-book market in the near future, it said when discussing its latest results. The company has 20 percent today but plans to go "well beyond" that based on a booming business. Its "comparable sales" jumped 59 percent for its August quarter versus a year ago based on sales both of Nook readers and of e-books.
Most significant Nook software update released
Barnes & Noble has just released its promised 1.5 update for grayscale Nook e-readers. The update is the most significant to date, and brings with it a 50 percent faster page refresh rate. It also offers syncing bookmarks between the Nook itself and any apps for Android, iOS and computers.
Nook Color goes out to advance buyers
Barnes & Noble today said it had started shipping the Nook Color to early pre-orders. Its e-reader and tablet crossover should reach some as early as today and through the rest of the week for those who either ordered online or reserved the device at a store. A "very limited" number of retail units are also available both at Barnes & Noble's own stores as well as Best Buy, Books-A-Million and Walmart.
Kobo Wireless eReader gets our review
In just the space of half a year, competition in the e-reader market has grown intense: where anything below $200 was once basic, readers now expect Internet access on anything over $100. Kobo has had to ride this wave whether it liked it or not: its new mainstream model has actually dropped to $140 while getting Wi-Fi. But is that enough? We'll discover the answer in our Kobo Wireless eReader review.
Best Buy Black Friday to have big Mac deals, more
Best Buy's Black Friday sale in two weeks will be marked by key sales on Macs, e-readers and smartphones, a copy of the flyer shows. The big-box chain hopes to head off likely Apple sales by offering a $125 gift card for buying either a 13-inch MacBook Pro or a 21.5-inch iMac. The deal isn't the steepest for the computers Best Buy should have on November 26, as BFAds notes it will also take $150 off of any Samsung notebook and take $200 off of a Pentium dual-core equipped Sony VAIO EB to bring it down to $400.
NYT to have bestsellers just for digital books
The New York Times today planned to run a bestseller list just for e-books. The list will be separate from the paper list but will appear in the Book Review both online and in print versions of the newspaper. An independent tracker, RoyaltyShare, will monitor sales from a collection of digital bookstores and will help validate the data to ensure that it's accurate, an issue which the Times said was currently a problem in the e-book field.
LG shows first color e-paper displays in Japan
At the Flat Panel Display International show in Japan on Wednesday, LG showed off its first commercial electronic color paper display. Thanks to PCWorld, it's known that two models were shown, including a full-color 9.7-inch screen along with a combination 9.7-inch screen that gets a monochrome display along with a smaller, color navigation strip along the bottom much like the Barnes & Noble Nook, but built-in. The full color screen can display 4,096 colors and has a resolution of 800x600.
Hanvon previews color E Ink reader for March
China's Hanvon today had the distinction of becoming the first company to support a color E Ink screen. The company said it would launch a 9.7-inch touchscreen device. The design has few details but should behave slightly more like a tablet, with a website in view in the initial NYT render and both 3G and Wi-Fi support. It reaches the Chinese market in March for an equivalent price of $440.
Charges up to 4 devices simultaneously
iHome has launched the iB969 Charging Station, a multi-device docking station and charger. The iB969G can sync one device with iTunes and charges up to four devices simultaneously. It includes dual iPhone/iPod docks and an integrated iPad stand. The iB969 also has a rubberized surface for placing other devices while they charge. The charger works with many popular electronic devices, including BlackBerry smartphones and the Sony Reader, Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook.
Barnes and Noble to approve Nook Color apps itself
Barnes & Noble in a follow-up to the launch of the Nook Color has said it will have its own, separate app approval process. Similar to Apple's own approach, it will take submissions and get approvals within "weeks" of their arrival. It should have a typical revenue split, which Gizmodo interpreted as falling along the 70/30 division Apple and others use.
Barnes and Noble Nook Color official, due Nov 19
Barnes & Noble at its event this afternoon confirmed the Nook Color. The Android device is now more of a true tablet and uses a seven-inch IPS-based LCD as its sole, heavily redesigned interface. The addition of color now makes it possible to auto-subscribe to magazines and newspapers that preserve the same layout as print, along with adding support for spoken and interactive Nook Kids books.
Borders drops Kobo to 99, Velocity Reader to 170
Borders said it would start up multiple deals, beginning October 31, in what's already considered a bid to recover sagging sales. The company dropped the price of its core readers, the Kobo eReader and the Aluratek Libre, down to $100; the Libre deal lasts until November 15. It should also be giving away five free books with each Kobo Wireless eReader at its usual $140 price, and Sony Readers will get a free cover and light combo.
Barnes and Noble Nook Color leaked by own site
Barnes & Noble tonight gave away its plans for its event on Tuesday with a product page (since pulled) for an accessory. Its own store made mention of a screen protector film for the Nook Color and showed an image of the device itself. CNET's view would be closer to a full tablet with a full touchscreen (likely LCD) in place of the split e-paper and mini-LCD on the existing Nooks.
Amazon Kindle devices get lending, iPad magazines
Amazon today sent word that it would add a Nook-style lending system to Kindle readers and apps. The licensing would give the same option to lend each book once for up to 14 days to someone else's account. Copy protection would prevent the original reader from seeing the text until the new reader is finished or the time runs out.
Barnes and Noble Nook Color rumored coming
Barnes & Noble's special Nook-related event next week may result in a color e-reader, a source mentioned this afternoon. To be called just the Nook Color, it would have a seven-inch touchscreen as its main interface, presumably in place of the split e-paper and LCDs it uses today. The contact for CNET isn't certain of the technology, though it's more likely to be LCD with mirasol displays not due to formally launch until early 2011.
Barnes and Noble sells Nook in Walmart October 24
Barnes & Noble today preceded its major event next week with a plan to expand Nook sales to Walmart. Both the Nook 3G and the Nook Wi-Fi will make their ways into 2,500 stores on October 24 and later for the same $150 and $200 prices they have today. The e-readers will get a small but special section for live demos.
Barnes and Noble hints at Nook sequel for event
Barnes & Noble tonight sent out an invitation to Electronista and other members of the press for a "very special event" to be held next week. The company didn't provide many details but said the event would take place at its Union Square bookstore in New York City. The location is relatively small and doesn't suggest a major event by itself.
Barnes and Noble Nook gets speed, sync in November
Barnes & Noble today promised a major Nook update that would give the e-reader an update just before it goes into the holidays. The 1.5 patch should "dramatically increase" the page turn speed and other performance of the Android-based readers. Sync has also been modernized and should fully remember book positions across the Android, computer and iPad/iPhone apps as long as they have Internet connections.
Pandigital Novel 2nd gen drops LCD for e-paper
Pandigital bounced back after its heavily criticized original tablet by launching a revamped Novel. It still uses Android underneath but has switched from its criticized resistive touch LCD to a Sipix-made, 600x800 e-paper touchscreen. The design gives up color but should be more responsive, significantly extend the battery life and make it much easier to view outdoors.
ATT counters Verizon deal with 3G iPad in-store
AT&T didn't let Verizon's iPad deal go unanswered today and said it would carry the iPad in its own stores on October 28. The original iPad supporter will stock only the existing 3G iPads rather than the Wi-Fi plus MiFi combos at the rival carrier. Its plans remain the same and give 250MB of monthly, prepaid bandwidth for $15 or 2GB for $25; iPad buyers don't need to sign up in-store.
Walmart says iPad in stores October 15
Walmart this evening confirmed that the iPad would reach its stores this week. The tablet arrives in its stores on Friday, October 15, and will include all models at the same prices that Apple charges. "Hundreds" of stores will have it at first, Walmart said, but the expansion should reach 2,300 US shops by mid-November.
Case even extends to gaming companies
Olympic Developments has filed a lawsuit through the US District Court for the Central District of California, LA Division, charging several companies with violating two of its patents. The first patent, Transactional Processing System, describes a way of offering products and services through credit card transactions. The concept also involves real-time authorization. The second patent, Device for Controlling Remote Interactive Receiver, specifically describes a remote that can save financial information.
NPD says iPad cannibalization of PCs low but real
The NPD Group today found that the iPad was having a mild but significant impact on computer sales. While the effect wasn't as large as expected, about 13 percent of iPad buyers had picked one instead of a computer. The relatively low cannibalization was attributed to many buyers still being early adopters that bought the Apple tablet simply because they wanted it. That figure could change once the iPad was more established, the researchers said.
Study has US e-reader use exploding in 2011
A new Kindle or Nook, but 12 percent said they were likely to buy one within a year. They were also more likely to have bought books of any kind and were more likely to read books as a whole compared to those who clung to paper.
Amazon Kindle reaches Best Buy in fall
Amazon landed a major retail deal today that will let it sell the third-generation Kindle at Best Buy stores sometime in the fall. Both the Wi-Fi only and 3G versions will arrive at the same $139 and $189 prices as on Amazon's own pages. The costlier and larger DX isn't part of the plans.
Sony Reader refreshes to fight Amazon and Apple
Sony as expected today revamped its entire Reader lineup to hold on to its position in e-books. The five-inch Pocket Edition, six-inch Touch Edition and seven-inch Daily Edition all now use touchscreens and fix a common problem of glare with e-paper touchscreens: the new models have a single touch and display layer that should be easier to read without glare. They also use E Ink Pearl panels that update faster, produce a higher contrast and help extend the battery life.
Amazon pushes Kindle retail to Staples
Staples today said it would be the second US retailer to sell the third-generation Kindle. The office store will carry both the six-inch Wi-Fi and 3G versions of the Kindle as well as the Kindle DX. It plans to both stock the hardware and give users a chance to try the e-readers in the store.
Aluratek Libre and Kobo eReader fall in price
Borders this morning fought back against the third-generation Kindle by dropping prices on both the Aluratek Libre and the Kobo eReader. Although not yet reflected on the site, the Kobo device is dropping down to $130 while Aluratek's device is falling to $100, making it one of the first current e-readers to crack the price mark.
Barnes and Noble loses 63 million despite e-books
Barnes & Noble today highlighted its problems in the digital space by reporting mixed results. Although it wouldn't give numbers, it claimed Nook sales were "nothing short of spectacular" and said sales had only grown since it launched the Nook Wi-Fi and cut the price of the Nook 3G. It reiterated its belief that it has more market share in digital than it does in paper; estimates put it at 20 percent.