Rumors about Barnes & Noble's plans to develop an eReader have been confirmed in a company statement that launches a new e-Bookstore and outlines a partnership with Plastic Logic to develop an eReader for an early 2010 launch.
B&N also notes that they will offer eBooks on devices like the iPhone, iPod Touch and Blackberry as well as PCs and Macs in addition to their Plastic Logic device. It may also be available on other eReaders down the line (opening up is something Amazon also strives for) The new eBookstore includes 700,000 launch titles, public domain books and hundreds of bestsellers priced at $US9.99. Pricing and details on the hardware have not been released thus far, but it is clear that the battle is shaping up to be more about where customers will choose to get their content, not the hardware they will get their content on.
BARNES & NOBLE LAUNCHES WORLD'S LARGEST eBOOKSTORE
Introduces "Every Device" Strategy
Upgrades eReader Application
Announces Strategic Partnership with Plastic Logic
New York, New York – July 20, 2009 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world's largest bookseller, announced today the launch of the Barnes & Noble eBookstore (www.bn.com/ebooks), the world's largest eBookstore, on Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com), enabling customers to buy eBooks and read them on a wide range of platforms, including the iPhone and iPod touch, BlackBerry® smartphones, the forthcoming new eReader device by Plastic Logic, as well as most Windows® and Mac® laptops or full-sized desktop computers.
Barnes & Noble's launch encompasses:
· Barnes & Noble's eBookstore offering its customers seamless access to more than 700,000 titles, including hundreds of new releases and bestsellers at only $US9.99, making it the world's largest selection of eBooks available in one place. The company expects that its selection will increase to well over one million titles within the next year, inclusive of every available eBook from every book publisher and every available eBook original, which is a fast growing marketplace.
· More than a half-million public domain books from Google, which can be downloaded for free. Readers can discover and explore this rich treasure trove, including everything from classic works by well-known writers to long-forgotten and obscure titles that are historically much harder to access.
· An upgraded version of its eReader application, which was part of the company's Fictionwise acquisition earlier this year. This device-agnostic eBook application supports both wireless and wired access to the new Barnes & Noble eBookstore. Millions of internet-enabled devices are currently supported by eReader, including the nation's two leading smartphone device families from Apple and BlackBerry®, as well as most Windows® and Mac® laptops or full-sized computers.
· First-time users of the eReader will have the opportunity to download free eBooks, including titles such as Merriam-Webster's Pocket Dictionary, Sense and Sensibility, Little Women, Last of the Mohicans, Pride and Prejudice, and Dracula. See site for further details.
· A strategic commerce and content partnership with Plastic Logic, whose eReader device is especially designed for business professionals. Barnes & Noble plans to power the eBookstore for the Plastic Logic Reader. The ultra thin 8.5 x 11 inch wireless eReader is slated to debut in early 2010.
· The free, full-featured B&N Bookstore app for iPhone and iPod touch users, which is now the #1 downloaded book app in Apple's App Store. In addition to enabling customers to easily place orders for books, movies, and CDs, the app also lets users search millions of products simply by snapping a photo. Using the iPhone's camera, customers can snap a photo of the front cover and within seconds get product details, editorial reviews, and customer ratings – even find and reserve a copy in the nearest store. The app also includes a store locator, bestseller lists, book recommendations, and a store events calendar.
"Today marks the first phase of our digital strategy, which is rooted in the belief that readers should have access to the books in their digital library from any device, from anywhere, at any time," said William J. Lynch, President of BN.com. "As America's #1 bookstore and newsstand, our goal at Barnes & Noble is to build a service that revolves around the customer, enabling them to have access to hundreds of thousands of titles and read on their smartphone, PC, and many other existing and future devices. We want to make eBooks simple, accessible, affordable and convenient for everyone."
More About the eReader Application
Designed with the reader in mind, Barnes & Noble eReader client software provides an easy-to- use interface to access the Barnes & Noble eBookstore and to manage their personal eBook libraries. It features powerful tools to optimise the reading experience, including the ability to modify type size and font and annotate and bookmark text, as well as an innovative auto-scroll feature enabling users hands free reading. In addition, users will have the added convenience afforded by true eBook portability, allowing them to access their eBooks from any of their eBook software-equipped devices, so that, for example, they can shift from reading their ebook from a smartphone while commuting to a notebook PC or eReader device at bedtime.