American bookstore chain, Barnes & Noble, Inc.(NYSE:BKS), on Sunday reduced the prices of its Nook devices, slashing the retail price of the Nook 16 GB tablet to $199 from $249.
The price of the 8 GB tablet has also been reduced by $20 to $179, while the Nook Color will now be available at $149, the company said.
The reduction in prices come just ahead of the peak school shopping season and also amidst talks that online retailer Amazon was readying to launch a new version of its popular Kindle Fire tablets.
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The breakaway popularity of Google's Nexus 7 may also have had something to do with the steep price cuts. The price reductions bring the Nook e-readers on par with that of the Kindle Fire and the Nexus.
Amazon is the undoubted market leader in the e-book reader segment with its Kindle devices having a 60 percent market share, but Barnes & Noble's Nook devices are not far behind with a 27 percent share of the American market for e-books.
Being the smaller competitor Barnes has had to keep up with its larger rival by cutting prices and that has had an impact on its earnings margins.
The 7-inch Nook tablet was launched in November 2011 and has seen frequent price reductions.
Shares in Barnes & Noble, worth $833 million were down 1.2 percent at $14.14 on the NYSE.