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Barnes & Noble simplifies the Nook

Associated Press / May 25, 2011

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NEW YORK — The lighter, cheaper new version of Barnes & Noble’s e-reader has a black-and-white touchscreen and aims squarely at the “grandma’’ demographic — or at least those craving a simpler e-book reader.

The latest Nook’s price tag — $139 — is a sign that the bookseller also is aiming to compete with Amazon and Borders Group on e-reader prices.

The focus on simplicity means its battery can last two months, chief executive William Lynch said. He said the latest Nook was inspired by customers — specifically a letter asking why no e-readers were suitable for a grandma.

“The Kindle 3 has 38 buttons. That’s 37 more than the all-new Nook,’’ said Lynch, taking a jab at Amazon.com’s e-reader. The new Nook, available June 10, is Wi-Fi only, has a 6-inch touchscreen, and can hold up to 1,000 digital books.

It replaces versions that came before the Nook Color, which still sells for $249. After the new release, the first-generation Nook will sell for $119, and the Nook 3G will sell for $169 — until supplies run out.