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Barnes & Noble Updates Nook

5/24/2011 12:35:21 PM Eastern

New York - Barnes &
Noble
today released a revamped version of its basic Nook e-reader that
features a full touch screen.

Nook

The revamped Nook, The
Simple Touch Reader, has the same 6-inch readable area as the first-generation
model, but it drops the four buttons found on the original and the small
touchscreen. There is also a new user interface, more fonts and screen sizes
and faster page turns with less flashing, the company said.

The Nook is available for
pre-order today for $139 and is expected to ship around June 10, said William
Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble.

"There is a portion of
the market that does not need all the functionality of the NookColor. This is
the easiest to use, most portable e-reader ever created," Lynch said at a press
event held here at the flagship Barnes & Noble store in Union Square.

Lynch said customers had requested a very basic e-reader
someone's grandmother could easily figure out, that could fit in one hand and
was able to quickly dive into the bookseller's online store for a simpler
shopping experience.

Jamie Iannone,
Barnes & Noble's president of digital products, said the new model, at 7.5
ounces, is 35 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner than the original model. The
two-month battery life is based on about 30 minutes of reading time per day, he
said.

Overall it is about two inches shorter as it drops the lower
color touchscreen found on the first Nook. There are now six fonts and seven
type sizes to choose from and the improved user interface gives book
recommendation, along with more detail about the book that is being read.

Lynch said it is being offered only in a Wi-Fi configuration as
sales data indicates customers are not as interested in 3G as originally
thought, even for the Color Nook. The new model cannot handle apps nor will the
new user interface be available to owners of the first generation Nook.

The company also lowered the price on the original Nook to $119,
from $139, for the Wi-Fi version and $30 to $169 for the 3G model. These will
be discontinued after stocks sell out.

Lynch claimed Barnes & Noble now has a 25 percent share of
the e-book market compared to 17 percent in print books.