Waterstone’s reveals e-reader plans

Book chain prepares to launch own reader in the spring of 2012

September 9, 2011

There are a substantial amount of e-reading devices on the market, albeit not nearly as many as there are tablets.

Amazon’s Kindle is the goliath of the e-reader world, but there’s also the likes of Sony’s Reader, the iRiver Story, the Kobo and of course Barnes & Noble’s Nook (pictured above).

And it’s the latter Waterstone’s has evidently taken inspiration from, as the book chain announced plans for its own electronic reading device, according to a BBC report.

The Managing Director of Waterstone’s, James Daunt, was interviewed on Radio 4 when he revealed the company’s desire to keep up with the publishing world, which is already shifting more towards an e-model.

Daunt believes that Barnes and Noble have managed to compete with the Kindle by linking its device with its high street stores. It is thought that Waterstones will do the same, enabling them not only to compete, but also to revive flagging profits.

Daunt told Radio 4: “We in Waterstone’s need to offer you a digital reader which is at least as good, and preferably substantially better, than that of our internet rival, and you will have a much better buying experience purchasing your books through us.”

However, that’s all the information we have at this stage, as Daunt didn’t reveal anything about exactly how the Waterstone’s e-reader would be “substantially” better than its rivals.

The one detail mentioned was a release date – it’s due next spring – so presumably they must have a close to final working model now, and some idea of the specs.

We guess we’ll find out soon enough. Amazon, not content with the success of the Kindle, is launching its own full-fat slate this autumn, which is expected to be a low cost Android affair that may well be the first serious challenger to the iPad.


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