US book retailer Barnes & Noble has launched an updated Nook e-reader featuring a new touch screen display and costing just US$139.
The updated Nook e-reader is also 35 per cent lighter than the original Nook but unlike Amazon rivel the Kindle, the Nook will mainly be sold in the 700+ strong chain of Barnes & Noble book shops.
The US retail bookseller market has come under pressure with the 500 store Borders group filing for bankruptcy in February with the expected closure of around half the stores. In order to take advantage of surging electronic book sales, Borders also launched an eReader called Kobo.
While sales of paper books have fallen, digital books have surged ahead with Amazon reporting that the first quarter of 2011 saw Kindle book sales three times that of a year earlier while print books fell nearly 25 per cent.
As opposed to Amazon’s Kindle approach of a small physical keyboard at the bottom of the device, Barnes & Nobel have favored a smartphone-like touchscreen display. The original Nook was a more expensive device with a small colour touchscreen display in addition to the main e-ink display.
Amazon is widely expected to launch new Android tablets before Christmas.