Barnes and Noble Nook ship date pushed to 2010

The Nook will not ship until Jan. 11. What does that mean for Barnes and Noble?

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A Barnes and Noble Nook in time for Christmas? Don't bet on it. Last month, Barnes and Noble announced it had sold out of its much-hyped e-reader, and told some consumers they would have to wait until after the holidays to get their hands on a Nook.

Now, Barnes and Noble has pushed back the official Nook ship date to the second week in Jan., much too late to reap the benefits of the Christmas shopping rush.

Select Barnes and Noble stores will reportedly still sell the new e-reader on Dec. 7. But as Engadget's Thomas Ricker writes, the shortage on Nooks will likely mean that most consumers leave the stores empty-handed.

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"Unless you're planning on abandoning ship and helping the Kindle have its new best month ever, the realistic [gift-giving] choices are pretty clear: a) pay Tickle Me Elmo-like prices on eBay or b) drop an IOU in a nicely wrapped box, preferably with a cute puppy," Ricker jokes. "We suggest the latter."

On the Barnes and Noble site, pre-ordered Nooks are listed as shipping on Jan. 11, for $259. That's a couple months later than the date originally estimated by Barnes and Noble. Engadget even speculates that early-bird pre-orders will be delayed, possibly beyond December 25.

As Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps told Reuters after the first major Nook delay, the delays are helping winnow down the e-reader field. "Amazon can reap the benefit of Sony and Barnes & Noble's failures here," Rotman Epps said.

Yesterday, Amazon announced that Nov. was a record for month-over-month sales of the Kindle e-reader, which has fared consistently well among consumers in recent months. The company does not release exact sales figures for the Kindle.

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