Barnes & Noble eBooks to Compete with Kindle on Mobile Phones
Update: To download the Barnes and Noble eReader app for the desktop (PC and Mac), you have to log into a Barnes and Noble account (which means you have to create one. Digital books purchased from eReader.com are compatible with the Barnes and Noble eReader app as well as the Fictionwise (acquired by Barnes and Noble) eReader app for both the Mac and PC. You will need to “unlock” your purchase with your name and credit card information. Unfortunately, at this time, Barnes and Noble has not integrated your purchase(s) from both sites together so purchases under eReader.com won’t show up on your Barnes and Noble digital purchases profile under bn.com. Because of this and because the iPhone doesn’t yet have a true file storage system that is user-accessible, purchases from eReader.com cannot be loaded into the somewhat improved UI of the B&N eReader application. ###
For those who love to read ebooks on mobile phones, Barnes & Noble recently unveiled and released their iPhone B&N eReader app along with a PC and Mac program so users can read ebooks purchased through the company’s website. A visit to the website (www.bn.com) still doesn’t show ebooks as an option, but users with the iPhone can search on their apps. Prices seem to be a tad bit less competitive than the Kindle offering, but still cheaper than the print editions.
It is rather surprising that Barnes & Noble would release their own branded eBook portal as the firm recently acquired eReader.com, a Fictionwise company, that delivers ebooks. A quick browse of the app on my iPhone 3GS under the keyword search “Business” shows more contemporary books in that section than the eReader store. Surprisingly, the app itself still doesn’t let you buy books directly. Rather, the app sends you to the mobile website on the iPhone’s browser to purchase your books.
Like the Kindle, Barnes and Noble will also allow users to sample portions of the book before buying. This will give readers a chance to taste the book to see if they will like it.
At this time, it is still unclear what format Barnes and Noble’s ebooks will be in.
The company had offered ebooks before, but that operations stuttered due to poor sales. It looks like the giant book retailer will once again jump into the electronic downloads business.
The big question is when will we see a competitive Kindle or Barnes and Noble offering on Windows Mobile?
At the time of this writing, I was unable to locate the desktop downloads of Barnes and Noble’s ebook program for the Mac and PC. The mobile version is up on the iTunes App Store.