Barnes & Noble’s new Nook, the Simple Touch Reader, aims to compete with the paperback. Following a couple of weeks of rumors Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch today announced the company’s new Nook, aimed at “those turned off by buttons, keyboards and complexity”: The Simple Touch Reader. Lynch introduced the Simple Touch by quoting a letter from a customer: “My family and I are looking for the perfect Christmas gift for my grandmother…I’m wondering why you haven’t created a version of the Nook for her.”
“The Kindle 3 has 38 buttons,” Lynch said. “That’s 37 more than the new Nook.”
The Simple Touch, which is WiFi only and retails for $139, has a 6” black and white touchscreen, weighs 7.5 ounces, and promises up to 2 months of battery life on a single charge. It ships June 10.
Another new feature, Nook Friends, allows users to see what their friends are reading, share, recommend, lend and borrow books. Next month, Barnes & Noble will launch MyNook.com. Through the website, users can access library, see friends’ recommendations, and shop from any computer and their Nook will sync wirelessly.
Nook Apps will not be available on the Simple Touch Reader. Nook 1st Edition WiFi and 3G+WiFi prices will drop to $119 from $149 and $169 from $199. When supplies of the old Nooks run out, Barnes & Noble will discontinue them.
Lynch reiterated last week’s statement that the Nook has captured over 25 percent of the e-book market. “Based on industry data, it is our belief that Nook Color is the bestselling Android tablet in the U.S., second only to the iPad,” he said.