Barnes & Noble today fired up competition in the eReader market with the introduction of a $149 Wi-Fi-only Nook eReader. The company also shaved $60 off its 3G model, bringing the price for that device to $199.
The new Nook Wi-Fi is now available to order online at www.nook.com and on Best Buy’s website.
The new pricing undercuts Amazon’s Kindle device by $70. Sony makes a pair of Sony Readers that sell for $199 and $169, but both need to be connected to a computer via a USB cable. Sony’s only other device is 3G capable but costs $349.
eReaders have been racing to add functionality and find a place in a market that has been overshadowed by the launch of Apple’s iPad, which starts at $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version. While eReaders may not be able to play movies, many say that Apple’s LCD screen technology is no match for the Nook and Kindle’s e-ink technology, which eliminates glare.
Yankee Group expects sales of eReaders to top $1.2 billion in 2010 and forecasts continued growth, with total sales reaching $3.7 billion in 2013.