Will Barnes & Noble E-reader Push Kindle Prices Lower?

Will Barnes & Noble E-reader Push Kindle Prices Lower?
Now that Barnes & Noble is reportedly launching its very own E-reader, will prices on Amazon.com’s competing Kindle keep tumbling on further?

Based on recent historical trends in the still emerging e-reader market, that would only stand to reason.

After all, following Sony’s introduction of the $199 Sony Reader Pocket Edition in August, Amazon.com cut pricing on the Kindle by $40 to $259.

In a report accompanied by what it says are photos of the rumored device, Gizmodo pointed, as a differentiator, to the purported device's dual screen — a six-inch monochrome e-ink screen said to lie on top of a smaller, color, multitouch screen.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps predicted that e-reader prices will continue to fall. She also forecast that in 2010, we’ll see Barnes & Noble – as well as a new generation of table PCs from Microsoft, Apple, and others — stepping up serious competition to Kindle.

As more e-reader details emerge, it’ll be interesting to find out whether or not the dual-screen device speculated on at Gizmodo is one and the same as the e-reader jointly announced by Irex, B&N, and Verizon Wireless a few weeks back.

From Gizmodo’s photos, the hardware looks nearly identical to that of the Irex gadget. But Irex said nothing about a dual-screen, and the user interfaces seem different to me.

In any case, there’ll soon be at least one – and possibly two – new entries into the e-reader race. And in either scenario, that’s good news for cash-strapped consumers.

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