The news on eReaders and tablet PCs is fast and furious at the moment given the onset of Dads & Grads season, preparations for the holidays and the Computex Technology show in Taiwan this week.
Here are some highlights:
Target will roll out the Amazon Kindle to all of its 1,740 stores beginning Sunday, June 6, said Reuters. This is an expansion of a deal struck in late April where Target became the first an only brick and mortar store to carry the Kindle and began offering it to 102 of its stores. Source: Reuters
With Father’s Day approaching, Barnes & Noble is offering a $50 gift card with the purchase of its $259 Nook eReader. The promotion effectively renders the Nook the lowest priced 3G eReader on the market (if you consider a gift card the same as cash). Source: Barnes & Noble
eReading kingpin, Amazon isn’t resting on its laurels. The company will offer a thinner and improved version of the Kindle eReader in August, according to Bloomberg, citing two people familiar with the device. The new Kindle will allow faster page turning and a sharper picture. But it is not expected to offer a color screen or touchscreen capability, said the report. Source: Bloomberg
Acer unveiled a LumiRead eReader that is winning some media attention as Kindle-competitor with some extra tricks. The device has a 6-inch E-Ink display and offers WiFi and 3G connections plus a hard keyboard like the Kindle. But it adds a barcode scanner that can read the ISBN numbers from physical books so you can then search for them in an online bookstore. It can also share eBooks with other devices (a computer, TV, etc) as it uses a new clear.fi networking system based on DLNA (the Digital Living Network Alliance)—a home networking standard.
The LumiRead will offer 2GB of internal memory and a microSD slot with a battery life estimated at about two weeks. It will also link to the Barnes & Noble eBookstore with over 1 million eBooks. No word on pricing yet but PCWorld says the device will ship to the U.S. in the third quarter. Sources: Acer and PCWorld
Acer also showed a prototype 7-inch Android based tablet PC with a keypad but other details were not available, said PCWorld.
Fionally, the success of the iPad tablet continues to rock the eReader and tablet PC markets and the latest forecast says the device will see sales of 5.5 million units worldwide this year, and 13 million units next year as demand exceeds expectations. Bloomberg cited a research note from Phil Cusick of Macquarie Group Ltd. stating he raised his iPad forecasts by 57 percent for this year and 63 percent for 2011 after Apple announced this week it sold 2 million iPads since April 3. Source: Bloomberg
Photo: Acer’s LumiRead via PCWorld