Barnes & Noble pushes pressure on ereader market with $149 Wi-Fi Nook: The Nook is a ebook reader that's gotten mixed reviews. Although B&N keeps upgrading the firmware, the device hasn't reached the maturity of a Kindle or Sony Reader. However, B&N made a number of interesting choices about the device and its software features that may bear fruit.
In the latest twist, B&N has released a $149 Wi-Fi–only Nook, $50 less than the repriced 3G flavor (formerly $259). The Kindle omits Wi-Fi, which would make the Nook's service an advantage, except that B&N will only be enabling AT&T hotspot automatic logins in the 1.4 firmware release, several months after the device's introduction. That's obviously a more critical feature in a device that only connects via USB or Wi-Fi.
Like Amazon, B&N is building an ecosystem of ereading that allows the same content to be read on proprietary hardware devices, and mobile and desktop operating systems using reader software. B&N's Reader app for the iPad is quite marvelous, better for reading (and formatting to your liking) than Amazon's Kindle app or Apple's iBooks program.
Later in the day, Amazon dropped its Kindle reader price to $189 (down from $259).