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Barnes & Noble expected to unveil new Nook

Mon, 10/31/2011 - 11:05am
The Associated Press

Barnes & Noble is expected to unveil its response to Amazon.com's Kindle Fire tablet next Monday, as the all-important holiday shopping season kicks off.

The largest specialty retailer invited journalists and analysts to a news conference for a "very special announcement" that day.

The invitation comes after Amazon.com launched its Kindle Fire in late September. The e-book reader was upgraded to be able to surf the web, stream movies and TV and support thousands of apps in addition to being an e-book reader, and is priced at $199. It starts shipping Nov.15.

Apple Inc.'s iPad has been the dominant tablet so far. It starts at $499.

Barnes & Noble did not comment on what it would be revealing. Currently, the Nook comes in several iterations. A black-and-white touch screen reader dubbed The Simple Touch Reader starts at $139 and its Nook Color reader, which has a web browser and supports apps and email, starts at $249.

While nothing has been confirmed, Barnes & Noble could be revealing a price cut on the Nook Color, to at least match the Kindle Fire's $199 price tag, said Simba Information senior trade analyst Michael Norris.

Another possibility: more capabilities added to the Nook Color, such as video streaming, he said.

The event will begin at 9:30 ET Monday morning.

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