Engadget reports that Barnes & Noble is currently phasing out its $199 Nook 3G ebook reader.
Originally the discontinuation was believed to be due to poor sales of the 3G version compared to the cheaper Wi-Fi model. However the report was later updated to show that Barnes & Noble simply isn't producing additional units. This could indicate that the company may be gearing to roll out a 3G version of its newer NOOKcolor device in the coming months.
According to the original post, sales of the 3G model are to continue until all stock is exhausted. "The outfit is encouraging retail partners to not send out any bulk orders for the Nook 3G, as there simply won't be sufficient quantities to fulfill those orders," the site reports. "Of course, we're told that the company never actually received a huge amount of Nook 3G bulk orders to begin with, so maybe WiFi really is everywhere these days."
In October 2010, Barnes & Noble released the NOOKcolor, a $249 semi-tablet powered by Google's Android 2.1 "Eclair" OS (under the hood, that is). Although the company currently only offers the Wi-Fi model, the device expands on the original NOOK design by offering an ARM Coretex-A8-based TI OMAP361 CPU clocked at 800 MHz, 512 MB of memory, 8 GB of internal storage expandable up to 32 GB, a 7-inch "VividView" WSVGA IPS LCD display at 170 ppi and more.
During CES 2011, the NOOKcolor was a "People's Choice Award" winner of the Last Gadget Standing competition. Consumers can purchase NOOK devices-- both first generation and second generation--at any Barnes & Noble brick-and-mortar store, its online store, and other retailers including Best Buy, Walmart and even Books-A-Million (go figure).