Barnes & Noble has introduced a $249 Nook Tablet on Monday, at the beginning of the holiday shopping season in the growing markets for e-books and handset computers.
Both Barnes & Noble and Seattle-based Amazon.com are competing with Apple and its dominant-iPad for the holiday pie. The Nook Tablet has approached many weeks after Amazon.com introduced its Kindle Fire handsets for $199 and be available on Nov. 15. According to Barnes & Noble, its tablet will provide more memory and longer battery life.
The company has decreased the prices of its existing e-readers. The Nook Color is now $199, down from $239, and the Nook Simple Touch black-and-white reader is now $99, down from $139.
The Nook Tablet will be available in stores and be in consumers’ hand on Nov. 17. Similar to the Nook Color, it is equipped with a 7-inch color touch-screen. Different from Amazon, Barnes & Noble doesn’t provide streaming services. However, the Nook consists of preloaded apps from Hulu and Netflix that enables consumers to subscribe to stream movies and TV shows.
Since introducing its first Nook in 2009, Barnes & Noble has spent heavily on its e-book readers and e-bookstore. Because many customers change the way they read, the company also confronts with tough competition from discounters and online retailers in the market for traditional books. The Nook Tablet weighs less than a pound, brings a battery that allows nine hours of video watching with 16 gigabytes of memory and an SD slot to add more.
Analysts at Gartner predict that three of every four handsets sold this year will be an iPad. Apple has sold about 29 million since they first came out in April 2010. Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com generally do not give new sales figures.
The Nook Tablet will be sold online, in Barnes & Noble stores by a variety of other retailers, consisting of Best Buy, Target, Staples and Fry’s.