Entries in E-Readers (3)


Amazon to Debut New Kindle Fire, E-Readers

Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Amazon is holding an event Thursday in Santa Monica, Calif., where the Seattle-based company is expected to launch its new Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablet.  An ad, which aired Wednesday night, showed the new Kindle e-reader and new Fire.

Late last week, Amazon announced that it was sold out of the Kindle Fire.  In other words, it stopped making the popular tablet because a new one was on the way.

"Kindle Fire is sold out, but we have an exciting roadmap ahead.  We will continue to offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability and the best content ecosystem," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement last week.

Amazon's Kindle Fire became one of the world's best-selling tablets last year.  It runs a version of Android that has been revamped by Amazon to be centered on media consumption, including the books, music, and video services Amazon sells.  The next version of the Fire has been rumored to have a faster processor and an updated design. There have also been rumors that Amazon might release a larger 10-inch tablet this week.

The Kindle Fire spurred a new market of affordable, 7-inch tablets. Google, in partnership with Asus, released the Nexus 7 in June for $199, and it quickly became popular. Apple is also rumored to be planning a smaller version of the iPad -- the so-called iPad Mini -- in October.  But other companies, such as Sony, have said they don't plan to play in this lower-end space.

Amazon is also expected to update its Kindle e-readers to compete with Barnes & Noble's Nook With Glowlight.  The technology site The Verge reported that a new Kindle with a "Paper White" display was coming and it was shown in the TV ad that aired on Wednesday.

The location of Amazon's event has also been the stuff of rumor.  While the company usually holds its annual event in New York City, it is holding Thursday's event near Hollywood.  

Many believe Amazon will announce new partnerships with studios and talk more about video content.  Others think Amazon could release a set-top box for your TV, similar to Apple's TV or the Roku box, that would be centered on streaming video.  Others have said Amazon might use the event to launch a phone.

Either way, we will find out soon enough -- the event begins at 10:30 a.m. PT.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight Is Great in Bed

Barnes & Noble(NEW YORK) -- Ever since the first E-Ink e-reader was introduced in 2004, there's been one glaring issue with the technology category -- it's still hard to read books in the dark. Why hasn't the new technology been able to replace what now seems like outdated technology -- the book light?

Now Barnes & Noble has solved that issue with its new Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight. As its name suggests, the $139 e-reader has a built-in light for helping read in the dark.

"There are a lot of issues with book lights -- you have to remember to have the light, it's not a uniform lighting experience, and none of the lights are adjustable. That's why we worked so hard on the GlowLight in our new Nook," Barnes & Noble's President of Digital Products Jamie Iannone told ABC News.

The new Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight looks similar to the current $99 Simple Touch Nook -- it has a comfortable rubberish back, an eInk, infared touchscreen so you can swipe to turn pages and tap a word to look up the meaning. But now when you hold the Nook button on the bottom of the frame the light built into the e-reader turns on to illuminate the entire page you are reading. You can also adjust the brightness with a slider on the touchscreen. (Also, the new 7-ounce GlowLight Nook is slightly lighter than the non-glowing version.)

According to Iannone, Barnes and Noble spent a considerable amount of time coming up with the patent-pending technology to make sure the entire screen lit up and was still able to be glare free and readable outside.

One of the reasons others haven't done this before has been battery life, but according to Barnes & Noble, the new Nook will last a full month with the screen turned on and two months with the screen turned off.

Part of that battery life has to do with the display. The Nook still uses E-Ink screen technology, which is black and white, to make it easy to read inside and out.

And that's what Barnes & Noble is really selling here. "Now you have a reader that you can read outdoors in very bright sun or inside in complete darkness. It is the first reader where people haven't had to compromise."

Unlike the iPad, you can read outside on the Simple Touch, and unlike the Kindle, you can read in the dark. Iannone also called out that all of Barnes & Noble's Nooks are ad-free, unlike the $79 Kindle, which has ad-based screensavers.

Barnes & Noble and Amazon continue to duke it out in the e-reader market. Barnes and Noble currently offers over 2.5 million digital books, magazines and newspapers for its Nook devices.

The new Nook will be available for pre-order Thursday for $139 and shipping in early May.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


E-book Readers May Read More, Pay Less

Amazon(NEW YORK) -- Apple and five of the biggest U.S. publishers are accused of colluding to raise the price of electronic books for e-readers including iPad, Kindle and Nook.

The Wall Street Journal reported the Justice Department has warned it plans to sue Apple, Penguin Group, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan and HarperCollins. But people familiar with the matter told the paper a settlement may be in the works for some of the publishers, which could lead to cheaper e-books.

Though the devices cost hundreds of dollars, many e-books are cheaper than the traditional paper versions.

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, published by Scholastic, is $5.51 for the Kindle and $5.51 for a paperback version on Amazon.  The book is $8.49 on the Nook.

Moneyball, by Michael Lewis, published by W. W. Norton & Company, is $8.29 on the Kindle, $9.72 in paperback through Amazon with a list price of $15.95. Barnes and Noble’s Nook version is $8.29.

But not all e-books are a big savings over the dead tree version. Ken Follett’s 865-page Fall of Giants is $18.99 on Amazon for the Kindle yet the hardcover version is $20.63.  Lone Wolf: A Novel, by Jodi Picoult is $14.99 on Kindle but $15.99 in hardcover.

The iPad 2 retails for $399 while the new iPad announced this week starts at $499. Amazon’s Kindle starts at $79 while the Nook retails for $99.

About 28 percent of U.S. adults, or three in ten, use an electronic reader device, according to a survey by Harris Interactive released this week. That’s almost double the 15 percent who said they used the device last summer. In the most recent survey, 72 percent said they do not use a device, down from the 85 percent who did not last summer.

Almost three-quarters of e-reader users are reading six or more books in an average year. Among those who are currently using an e-reader, 29 percent say they typically read more than 20 books in an average year, while 21 percent  say they read between 11 and 20 books and 24 read between 6 and 10 books.

Three in five non e-reader users are reading five or fewer books on average in a year. Among those who do not use that device, 18 percent typically reads no books in an average year, 19 percent typically read between one and two books and 21 percent typically reads between three and five books.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio