Barnes & Noble Ships Nook E-Reader - InformationWeek

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Barnes & Noble Ships Nook E-Reader

The bookseller missed much of the holiday sales period, which was a boon to Sony's E-Book Reader and Amazon's Kindle, the market leader.

Barnes & Noble Nook eBook Reader
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Barnes & Noble said its Nook electronic-book reader will be on sale in the majority of the bookseller's retail stores this week.

In addition, B&N said the e-reader is available online. During the holiday shopping season, B&N was unable to keep up with demand, and had to delay shipping the device to online customers for weeks.

B&N, which introduced the Nook last October, had also expected to sell the device through its stores during the holiday season, but was only able to stock some stores with demonstration-only models. As of this week, however, the company apparently has worked out its inventory problems.

B&N announced in the company blog Monday that the Nook would be available in most the company's stores by mid-week. Starting Feb. 10, the bookseller plans to offer an online, in-store locator for Nook-carrying stores.

B&N's failure to meet demand for the Nook last year led the company to offer a $100 gift certificate to those people who ordered the device before Nov. 20, but didn't receive it in time for Christmas as promised. B&N was able to ship Nooks to those buyers in time, but other customers had to wait as long as February to receive the device.

Rivals did much better in meeting demand for e-readers over the holiday season. Amazon offered "free" two-day shipping for the Kindle, which is the market leader, and Sony promised delivery of its Reader in time for Christmas on orders placed by Dec. 20.

Besides delays in shipments, Nook buyers also had to deal with software bugs and slow response times. B&N in December released its first software update for the Nook to fix some of the performance problems.

Meanwhile, the e-reader market has been getting crowded with competitors. During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev., e-readers were introduced by several manufacturers, including Texas Instruments, Marvell, AU Optronics, Kurzweil Technologies and Plastic Logic.

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