Barnes & Noble, the world’s largest bookseller, on Thursday announced that with millions of Nook electronic book readers sold, the line has become the company’s biggest bestseller ever in its nearly 40-year history.
The company also said that new Nook Color e-book reader, introduced just eight weeks before Christmas, is the company’s number one selling gift of the holiday season. Barnes & Noble also announced that it now sells more digital books than its large and growing physical book business on BN.com, the world’s second largest online bookstore.
Demand for the critically acclaimed Nook Color remained high following the product’s introduction in late October through the holidays. Sales have continued to exceed the company’s high expectations, the firm stressed. In addition to a great customer response, The company also experienced robust sales for its award-winning line of Nook 3G and Wi-Fi devices, which feature an E Ink display and a color touch-screen for navigation.
“NookColor became the gift of choice over the holidays for people who love to read everything – books, magazines, newspapers, children’s books and more – in rich, beautiful color,” said William Lynch, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble.
Barnes & Noble also reported record holiday sales from its comprehensive two-million-title catalog, including nearly one million NookBooks purchased and downloaded on Christmas Day alone. Among the best-selling titles of the holiday season were James Patterson’s Cross Fire, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Confession by John Grisham, and Decision Points by former U.S. President George W. Bush.
“The success of Nookcolor, along with our unique ability to market Nook devices to readers in our stores and through our strong channel partnerships with Best Buy, Walmart and Books-a-Million, resulted in the continued explosive growth of our digital content business and our Nook line, our most successful products ever. The fact that e-book unit sales now exceed physical book sales through BN.com illustrates how quickly we’ve grown this exciting new business at Barnes & Noble," added Mr. Lynch.
The Nook Color (NookColor) features 7" VividView touch-screen with 1024*600 resolution and IPS matrix that is similar to those used on notebooks. The e-book reader is based on Google Android 2.1 and features 8GB of internal flash memory, Wi-Fi network controller and so on. The device supports playback of MPEG4 video and MP3 music. The NookColor sports an SD card reader and its memory can be expanded with a 32GB SD card.
The new electronic book reader comes with pre-installed Facebook, Twitter and email clients. Naturally, since it is Android 2.1-based, an Internet browser can also be used to browse the Internet. As a result, B&N essentially sells a tablet that's specialty is reading electronic books. The device is relatively compact - 8.1"/20.57cm x 5"/12.7cm x 0.48"/1.2cm and weighs just 447gramms (15.8 ounces), which is below the weight of popular tablets, but is higher compared to the original Nook. Unfortunately NookColor does not have a long battery life: it is only claimed that it will last for about 8 hours with Wi-Fi disabled in reading mode.