3G-less version and Project Encore in the makingAfter months and months of delays, insufficient inventories and inability to actually make it e-book reading gadget available in stores, Barnes and Noble seems to have finally resolved the famed Nook issues, to the point where it managed to deliver all orders and even make the e-reader available on BestBuy. This may lead users into thinking that the next step of B&N will be waiting for more sales while periodically updating the firmware and increasing content availability. A late Friday report, however, seems to disagree.
Seeing that the e-reader market is very much alive and kicking, and having gained some insight into what its customers need and want when buying an e-reader, the bookstore has reportedly decided to expand its Nook lineup with at least two additional models. The first to come out, dubbed Nook Lite, will be mostly identical to the current device, with the only difference being the lack of 3G connectivity. This will reduce the overall price point while still making sure that consumers can download new e-books via WiFi.
The Nook Lite will best serve those end-users living in regions where 3G isn't exactly widespread. 3G also cannot be used to its full potential because the Nook doesn't really have web browsing capabilities, unlike the iPad and, to some extent, the Amazon Kindle. This model will, instead, come at a price even lower than the current $259, namely $199.
The other part of the report implies that B&N is also devising the so-called Project Encore, otherwise known as Nook 2. There is no information besides the name, but considering the Kindle and iPad developments, and the Encore's time of arrival (by year's end), it is quite possible that the book seller is considering real web capabilities. In the mean time, the company will be finishing up work on the v1.4 Firmware, set to become available for download over WiFi next week.