BN Gets Back Into eBook Market; Kindle Can't Catch Break

Last week, we reported how Amazon stole back some books it sold to Kindle owners. It will come back to haunt them. Believe me. It's not the kind of news that you want if you're trying to promote your ereader to the masses.

Well, that just got more difficult as Barnes and Noble just announced their intentions to get back into the eBook market that it had started but abandoned because of demand and, though they will never admit it, higher ebooks prices than what users pay for traditional books.

And prices will be what count for most folks I know and especially in a recession. Even the rich and super rich as affected so it says a lot for poor folks like us. So, Kindle's recent price drop is a good start (now starting at $299), it'll need to go lower when Barnes and Noble along with ereader partner,

Right now, go to BN's eBook site and it'll tell you to come back Summer 2009. Well, the press release helps explain why it's summer and we've seen nothing yet. So, what are to expect? Keep in mind that BN bought Fictionwise who bought eReader.com earlier. So, there's been a lot of activities in the eBook market.
  • 700,000 books - world's largest ebook store - to reach 1MM shortly
  • 700,000 public domain books from Google.
  • Works on Macs, PCs, the iPhone platform, Windows Mobile, RIM smartphones
  • Upgraded version of ereader software coming. Free books as well.
  • BN app for the iPhone includes ability to buy products directly from BN.com
  • Support for ePub e-book standard. This is most excellent.
Great. What does that mean for mobile readers? Competition to start. Not just on book prices but also hardware. BN entered into a deal with Plastic Logic to use its reader.

Kindle and Sony eReader has had the market all to itself and while it's good to see the Kindle's price drop, it is still much considering it main function to to serve as a digital book reader. The DX is nice but at $489, only the select few can afford something like that.

ZDNet article writer said it best. He had been planning on getting an iPod Touch until this announcement. He was not thinking about getting a Kindle. Why? Because an iPod Touch can do more than let the user read books. More than that, he neglected to say it has something to do with the price of Kindle.

But we're all assuming that BN's reader will be priced competitively. If not, who cares? We've got mobile devices and smartphones to use. As long as BN and Amazon start hammering each other on ebook prices, I'm cool with just that.

Note: I had also been planning on upgrading my iPod Touch later this year when the new model comes out with the iPhone 3GS' internals. What I'm waiting for is the fabled Apple tablet. Absent that, BN's reader jumps ahead of Kindle given the prank that Amazon pulled last week.

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