So Amazon has released a new version of their kindle and escalated the so-called "E-Reader Wars." The Kindle 3 has a larger storage capacity, increased battery life, better contrast, and has 3G available in over a hundred countries (whereas the Barnes and Noble Nook only offers 3G service in the U.S.). Additionally Amazon is now offering a WiFi only version device that retails for 139.
I naturally think this is a smart move by Amazon. As soon as they began selling Kindle 2's at Target it was clear that they were unloading back stock in preparation for for a new release. With a WiFi model I definitely think that competition between Barnes and Noble and Amazon will definitely heat up but I certainly don't think it knocks the Nook out of contention (Although I think this deals another blow to the poor Kobo).
While Amazon is definitely doing great - the New York Times recently reported that ebooks are currently outselling hardcovers - I think Barnes and Nobel's stores give them access to customers that Amazon may never be able to reach. Moreover, there is still the selling point that the Nook's android operating system updates automatically every month or so. The very existence of a Kindle 3 underscores the differences between the two products. Amazon keeps coming out with new devices, whereas the Nook keeps coming out with free firmware updates that everyone gets.
Barnes and Nobel certainly doesn't appear to be giving up without a fight regardless. The superstores are planning on increasing the size and staff of their dedicated nook stations to bring greater emphasis on the store's digital future.
While of subject of bookstores, Publisher's Weekly had an article about Border's hiring new tech specialists to help push their various e-reader devices. I can only imagine that they read my post about my visit to their store last week and decided to fix the problem. :P
In others news:
- Narrative Magazine has launched an application for Ipad and Iphone users that allows access to their entire database of stories.
- The Huffington Post has an interesting breakdown of the e-reader/book market here.
- The New York Times has an article describing videos, hyperlinks, and other additions ebook publishers are adding to their releases.
- The Daily Beast has a great piece reporting on Skip Prichard, CEO of the Ingram Book Company, and his optimistic view of the book business in the wake of the digital revolution.
Coming soon: The second installment of my Comic Con Recap on Digital comics and a review of the Pandigital Novel by a guest blogger, my mom!