Heads up, Amazon – you've got well-funded competitor in the e-book game.
Today, in an announcement that shook the volatile publishing market, Barnes & Noble said it would create an electronic bookstore to sell more than 700,000 titles. The e-books will be compatible with Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch, BlackBerry smartphones, and the Plastic Logic eReader, among other devices.
"Today marks the first phase of our digital strategy, which is rooted in the belief that readers should have access to the books in their digital library from any device, from anywhere, at any time," William J. Lynch, president of BN.com, told the Wall Street Journal.
Barnes & Noble is the largest U.S. bookstore chain by revenue, according to the Journal, but it has lagged behind Amazon in shifting towards e-book sales. The announcement today was intended as a broadside against its competitor, many analysts said.
By the end of 2009, the company hopes to offer more than 1 million e-books and include every title currently made available in digital form. By comparison, Reuters reports, Amazon sells over 300,000 digital titles for the Kindle.
Barnes & Noble will become the exclusive e-book provider for the Plastic Logic eReader device, which will debut next year.
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