Update May 26, 2011: Search engines keep leading everyone to this older post. These are the new ones:
Now back to the original post …
Nate speculates that this could be a device with a Mirasol screen.
I’ll go him one better. It won’t be called the Nook.
With a Mirasol screen, it’ll have a new name, something like Nook Duo.
I don’t think Mirasol has a 1024×600 pixel screen, so this is bound to be the same 600×800 resolution of the classic Nook.
But lacking the eInk flashing, Barnes & Noble can now make it both smaller and lighter by dispensing with the separate color touchscreen. I expect the entire screen to be touchy and to sport a new UI more like that of the NookColor.
Given the NookColor is $249, will they price this at $199? Or drop the NookColor to $199 and price this new one at $249?
Update: I just checked the PTO. B&N filed for “Nook2″ and “Nook 2″ trademark registration in June 2010. On the other hand, on March 29, 2011, the beard company B&N uses, Fission LLC, filed an application for “The Simple Touch Reader.” I can’t see them giving up the Nook brand, so this might be a marketing tagline for the new device. That would confirm my thinking that it will be all touchscreen.
Update 2: The trademark filing description:
Portable electronic apparatus for reading, displaying, receiving, purchasing, sharing, lending and accessing downloadable electronic publications, namely, books, e-books, magazines, newspapers, text, images, digital web site content and digital media featuring music through wired and wireless Internet access, accessories therefor and instructional manuals, sold as a unit; computer software for displaying, receiving, reading, purchasing and accessing downloadable electronic publications, syncing electronic publications with portable electronic apparatus, loaning and sharing electronic publications with third parties and sampling electronic publications; downloadable computer software for displaying, receiving and reading downloadable electronic publications and syncing electronic publications with portable electronic apparatus, loaning and sharing electronic publications with third parties and sampling electronic publications; computer software for use in reading, displaying, purchasing, sharing, lending and accessing electronic publications and digital media featuring books, newspapers, magazines, periodicals, digital images, web sites, music, games and other digital entertainment, and instructional manuals, sold as a unit; downloadable computer software for use in reading, displaying, purchasing, sharing, lending and accessing electronic publications and digital media featuring books, newspapers, magazines, digital images, web sites, music, games and other digital entertainment, and instructional manuals, sold as a unit; downloadable electronic publications in the nature of fiction and non-fiction books, magazines, newspapers, journals, periodicals, manuals and guidebooks on a variety of topics; audio books in the nature of fiction and non-fiction works on a variety of topics. downloadable MP3 files, MP3 recordings, on-line discussion boards, webcasts, webinars and podcasts featuring music, audio books on a variety of topics and news broadcasts.
It’s as all-encompassing as some filings are.
Update 3: OK, after dredging through near 1,000 recent trademark filings and coming up with nothing else, I settled down to read the above description. It’s missing something: video. A Mirasol screen could do video, so why leave that key feature out of the filing? MP3 is specifically mentioned, as is audio, but not video. Could B&N simply be moving from the current eInk VizPlex screen to an all-touch Pearl screen in a different form factor (dropping the color touchscreen)?
Update 4: Even if B&N does only move from VizPlex to Pearl, with an all-touch screen, it’d seriously wound both Sony and Kobo. Plus, with a lower material and manufacturing cost (getting rid of the second color screen, making the entire unit smaller), they could also drop the price. $129 for WiFi, $149 for WiFi/3G? Interesting days ahead. Maybe retailers were briefed about this and that’s why the Reader has been dropped by major outlets? Maybe they’ve decided to go all-in with B&N.
Update 5: And I’ve just had someone email me wondering if this is neither an eInk nor Mirasol screen — but one from Pixel Qi! That would be a real kick in the head, especially after my recent post.