Kindle is big in Japan — some lessons for hardware’s future

The future of hardware is a tight symbiosis of hardware, software and connectivity and content as a service. Whether it is apps, books, movies or anything else — the more you engage with a platform, the more likely it will beat rivals. Amazon is a good example.

At $1.7 billion, Nook is worth more than Barnes & Noble itself

Microsoft and Barnes & Noble are teaming up to take on Amazon and Apple. The $300 million investment in the Nook subsidiary of Barnes & Noble gives Microsoft about 17.6% ownership of this business unit and values it at about about $1.7 billion, more than Barnes & Noble itself.

Amazon offers free 2-day shipping on all Kindles. Cool!

Amazon (s AMZN) is now offering free, two-day shipping on all Kindles including the Touch and Fire. To take advantage of this offer, customers simply add a Kindle to their cart and select two-day shipping when they check out. Amazon has seen a huge surge in demand for its Kindle devices, and this new offer is a way to keep the momentum going. I am personally a big fan of Kindle Touch, though you can’t beat the price on the lowest-end Kindle. I used that to read on my recent European trip searching for new ideas in the old world.

Verizon confirms family data plans coming in 2012

Verizon Wireless customers can expect data plans supporting multiple devices on a single account in 2012. It’s about time, as kids are getting smartphones and more connected devices are finding their way into our lives. One plan for all devices is a good fit for families.

Video look: Kindle Fire vs. Nook Tablet

I’ve spent nearly a week using the latest 7-inch tablets (or are they e-readers?): the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire. In this video, I share an overview of both devices and I offer a purchase recommendation: The device choice depends on what you want to do.

MobileTechRoundup podcast episode 253: Kindle Fire vs. Nook Tablet

This week’s audio podcast is all about the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet: our likes, dislikes, tweaks and who should (or shouldn’t buy) one of the two new low-priced e-reading tablets. Plus: a secret on how Amazon built their interface atop Google Android!

First Impressions: A Kindle worthy of Touch

If Kindle Fire is a disappointment as a tablet, then Kindle Touch is the epitome of e-book reading experience It’s simple, elegant, easy, lightweight and just great at what it’s supposed to do: offer up reading pleasure. I was impressed in the first couple of hours.

What media companies can learn from the book industry

The forces that are driving the disruption in traditional book publishing are the same as those affecting other media as well, whether it’s newspapers and magazines or virtually any other publishing-based business. So what can publishers and content companies learn from what is happening to books?

Yet another eReader launches, this time for Google

The crowded e-book market has just squeezed in room for one more contender, as iriver has created an eInk reader that works with the Google Books store. Priced at $139.99 and available from Target, the iriver Story HD can access 3 million free titles plus various paid content.