If you planned on heading into your local Barnes & Noble this week to try out and possibly pick up the latest e-reader, the Nook, think again.
On Sunday, Barnes & Noble announced that the Nook would not be available in stores for purchase or demonstrations until December 7. This delay is due to high demand for the upcoming e-reader.
“A very limited supply, along with demo units, will be available in our highest-volume stores only, beginning December 7,” Mary Ellen Keating, Barnes & Noble’s senior vice president of corporate communications and public affairs, told CNET in an e-mail.
Originally, however, the bookseller had intended to have a limited supply of Nooks available for purchase and test-use by Monday. Barnes & Noble is making it a priority to make sure that all Nooks purchased before November 20 for $259 are shipped before shipping to stores.
The entire short lifespan of the Nook has been linked with disappointing announcements. The Kindle competitor was expected to ship to pre-ordering customers by the end of November. However, earlier this month, Barnes & Noble announced that the device would not ship until December 11. On November 20, B&N also announced that the device was sold out for the remainder of 2009, and wouldn’t be available until January of 2010.
“The hottest holiday gift is out of stock,” reads a message at the top of the page. “Order the Nook today to be first in line for the new year.”
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“Yesterday Smashwords announced the premiere deal of them all, an agreement with bookseller giant Amazon to distribute all Smashwords’ list to Amazon’s, thereby making every Smashwords eBook available to the Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone, Blackberry, Palm Pre and Android.”
Spring Design, based in California, claim that Barnes & Noble copied key features and ideas of its Alex dual-screen ebook reader when making making its own ebook, the Nook.
The two companies had originally worked together on a “Kindle killer”, an ebook reader that could compete with Amazon’s device. But Spring Design alleges that Barnes & Noble failed to disclose that it was also working on its own ebook product, and claims that it “misappropriated trade secrets” and violated the parties’ non-disclosure agreement “when it copied Alex features in to its recently announced Nook ebook reader”.