Barnes & Noble appears poised to go up against Amazon.com in another product category. The two have competed in books for many years, and soon they will be offering competing e-book readers.
Amazon is on the second generation of the Kindle, a device with an E-Ink display that gives users wireless access to this company’s bookstore.
Barnes & Nobel doesn’t have an e-book reader out yet, but its device recently received FCC approval. That it needed approval from the FCC is a strong indication that B&N’s version will also allow users to wirelessly download books.
Virtually no details of this upcoming product were revealed by the FCC filing — as they are all concealed behind a confidentiality request. All that’s available is a simple outline drawing (at left).
This isn’t Barnes & Noble’s first move in this market: this spring it acquired Fictionwise, a well-establish e-book retailer.
Amazon also offers a Kindle app for Apple’s smartphone and handheld.
A Growing Rivalry
Clearly, B&N is moving to head off any chance of Amazon coming to dominate the e-book market.
When its electronic reader will be released is not known, though a launch before the holiday shopping season seems likely.
The Dark Horse Candidate
A player who shouldn’t be ignored in this is Sony, who also makes a line of e-book readers with E-Ink screens.
One of these, the Sony Daily Edition Reader, allows users to wirelessly download books, newspapers, and magazines.
Sony also has a book store, the Sony eBook Store, and its readers are sold in Borders book stores.