image The numbers have been grim lately at Barnes & Noble’s p-stores. But could e-books help? Is a new wireless e-reader gimzo coming next month, with a six-inch E Ink screen and touch input? Perhaps even an iPhone-style virtual keyboard?

In fact, might the new reader use the Android operating system?  Gizmodo has heard a whisper to that effect. Cool if so. Imagine the multiple uses that might be possible for the device. A few details from Giz:

Think about it. At six inches, it’s a smallish device, and we’ve seen Android on similarly-sized screens already. Wireless connectivity is built into the OS. Extraneous, inappropriate software and settings could be easily stripped out and replaced with relevant ones. A custom-designed interface could be easily dropped in. Apps—oh, sweet apps—could be a huge boon. And hey, E-Ink Android drivers have already been demonstrated on video. Not to mention the fact that B&N has conveniently skirted releasing an Android app, despite putting quite a bit of effort into iPhone and BlackBerry versions of the mobile ebook software.

image Here’s my little addition to the speculation. What if B&N adapted the Aldiko reader? Aldiko’s partners include “Publishers and Content Distributors” and “OEM and Carriers,” among others. Just for fun, I’ll shoot a note over to Aldiko’s Tiffany Wong, a TeleRead contributor, and see if she has anything to say on this topic.


  1. I wonder if BN is working with WordPlayer. From what I have seen they have the most features on Android with text-to-speech and annotations but have been updating less frequently than usual over the past few weeks. Maybe thats why?

  2. It’s not just a whisper … The B&N reader (BNR Z100) is a fact. Its FCC authorization materials are a matter of public record. The FCC filing is necessary because the device contains wireless modules.

    Although at this time the photos and user manual are withheld from public inspection, the correspondence describes the product as “E-book”.

    I think it’s an important bellwether of where the publishing and retailing businesses are going.

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