Barnes & Noble — which launched its own e-book store just three months ago — is now planning to sell an e-reader under its own brand name. The WSJ reports that the device will come to market as soon as next month.
Late last month, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and iRex said they were teaming up on an e-reader that would access the new Barnes & Noble e-books store. iRex executives told the NYT that while they had offered to put the Barnes & Noble brand on that device, no agreement had been reached. A Barnes & Noble executive declined to say at the time whether the bookseller was planning an e-reader of its own instead. However, Engadget did note an FCC filing in mid-September that indicated that Barnes & Noble planned to sell some sort of e-reader. (Staci adds: An iRex spokesperson told me that Barnes & Noble made it clear all along that it would be offering multiple device choices but seemed surprised by the report that one of those choices would be branded for BN.)
Unlike Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) — which has focused on the Kindle — Barnes & Noble seems intent on trying to get its e-book store on to as many devices as possible. In addition to the Verizon-iRex device, the company has said the store will be the exclusive “eBookstore provider” on the forthcoming Plastic Logic eReader; its eReader software also works with the iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerrys, and most laptops and desktops.
The WSJ does not have many details about the forthcoming Barnes & Noble device, although it does say that it will have a six-inch screen and also feature some sort of touch input. We’ve reached out to Barnes & Noble for comment. More to come.