Barnes & Noble bets big on the nook – page 2

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FierceWireless: Will your customers have access to 3G services in international markets? How complete will these services be?

Gottlieb: Right now, the nook operates on 3G in America. And ebook purchasing is possible in the United States. That is primarily due to the digital copyright agreements we have with the publishers. You will be able to download a purchase made in the U.S. [when you're out of the country], but right now purchasing is an American solution. We are investigating international [copyright] solutions, but we have no announcements.

FierceWireless: Why did you pick the Android OS for the nook?

Gottlieb: Android is specifically geared to wireless connectivity, and it gives us a wonderful leg up on developing the OS and the embedded experience for nook. It facilitated both the 3G and the WiFi connectivity. Also, it's a hot development platform. There's a lot of talent paying attention to Android, and we see it as a wonderful base from which to add functionality. We think we'll be able to add functionality and features based on this very strong foundation in the future. We're very pro Android.

FierceWireless: Will you allow third-party applications?

Gottlieb: It's something we haven't announced, but it is something we're looking at. The possibility of adding functionality, either through third-party or our own development, certainly factored very much into our decision to use Android.

FierceWireless: Why do you think you can compete against the Kindle?

Gottlieb: We think we've got an amazing device. We encourage comparison to any of the other ebook readers out there, and we think we compare very, very nicely. We are the only device on the market to offer both 3G and WiFi connectivity, to pair a very high-quality, state-of-the-art E Ink Vizplex screen with the color touchscreen, to use Android, and the first device tailored to the Barnes & Noble customer. Couple that with the fact that you can actually come in and be part of that community center that is the Barnes & Noble experience.

We are also the first ebook reader to enable lending of ebooks.

FierceWireless: So in a way it has a social networking component?

Gottlieb: Absolutely. It goes to the same community-centric approach that is the Barnes & Noble brand.

FierceWireless: Do you have other social networking apps to bring to this device?

Gottlieb: We're looking at a number of other things, again, based on Android. It will facilitate a lot. We have not announced any of that capability at present.

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