NEW YORK — Barnes & Noble Inc. is releasing a new Nook e-book reader for the holidays, while it evaluates the future of tablet computers.
Nook tablets haven't sold well amid intense competition with Apple's iPad, Amazon's Kindle Fire and others. Barnes & Noble had a slim 2 percent share of the worldwide tablet market in the fourth quarter of 2012, but fell off IDC's top 5 list this year.
The company said it isn't giving up on tablets, but it will focus on a new e-reader this year while continuing to sell last year's tablet models. The move comes as research firm IDC says the market for dedicated electronic-book readers is declining. Instead, consumers have been more interested in tablets, which can do much more, including video, email, Facebook and games.
Barnes & Noble's new e-reader, Nook GlowLight, is available in its retail stores and online starting Wednesday for $119, the same as the standard model of Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle Paperwhite reader. At 6.2 ounces, the GlowLight is 15 percent lighter than the Paperwhite. It's also ad-free, while Amazon charges $20 more for a Paperwhite without ads on its screensaver or home screen.
Barnes & Noble officials say the new e-reader's design is based partly on feedback received at the company's retail stores, where Nook devices are prominently displayed. Consumers' suggestions led to a brighter screen on the brightest setting and more durability in the form of a rubber-like silicone edge, which also provides comfort in the hands. In addition, the frame is white, not black, to match the screen color.