In an article mainly covering the new features of the Nook’s firmware update (which we already mentioned here), CNet lets slip this interesting tidbit about a forthcoming iPad version of its eReader app, which could be available as soon as May:
Barnes & Noble reps said the new iPad app is completely redesigned from the ground up. Interestingly, the company is also working on a totally new iPhone app, but it will come out after the iPad app and be offered as a separate download for iPhone and iPod Touch users. Unlike Amazon’s Kindle iPhone/iPad app, the B&N eReader will not be a universal app (you’ll have to download the specific version for the specific device).
Perhaps the prediction I made in my eReader review a few days back will not end up being true after all—if the iPad app is “redesigned from the ground up,” odds are it will not include the “bnereader://” method of sideloading books, since that was an invisible holdover from the original Fictionwise-owned version B&N reskinned.
Like Amazon with MobiPocket, Barnes & Noble likely doesn’t see any percentage in letting the e-book stores it engulfed take any business away from its main one. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, given that as part and parcel of B&N any profit eReader and Fictionwise make is profit for the corporation as a whole, but that just seems to be the way the corporate bean counters think.