The E-Reader world is finally about to get the battle royale we've all been waiting for. A second titan of the literary industry, Barnes & Noble, has thrown it's hat into the ring and challenged Amazon for dominance. Today, during a teleconference at 5:00 P.M. (EST), Barnes & Noble will announce that they are entering into a 'strategic eCommerce and content' partnership with Plastic Logic.
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Plastic Logic is working on a new brand of E-Reader, and B&N has agreed to provide the content for this reader. Barnes & Noble claims their eBookstore is the largest in the world. It contains more than 700,000 books, all of which run $9.99 each. Over a million titles are anticipated to be online by next year. Books from the eBookstore can be viewed on iPhones, iPod touches, BlackBerry devices and Plastic Logic's new E-Reader, plus Windows and Mac machines. Basically, they're usable by everything but the Kindle.
One cool facet of the eBookstore is the ability to download old public domain works for free. There are an additional half-million free titles in the eBookstore right now. Once Plastic Logic's new reader comes out, customers who buy one will be allowed to download several free books, including the Merriam-Webster's pocket dictionary.
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This is pretty big news for the E-Reader world, and I doubt Amazon likes any of it one bit. This is a clear sign of some very deadly competition heading their way. Plastic Logic's reader is expected to hit in early 2010. Their first model will measure 8.5 x 11”. If they can keep the price in the sub-$300 range and Barnes & Noble can deliver what they've promised with their eBookstore, we might just have a new E-Reader king on our hands.