Best Buy Setting Up an E-Reader Showdown

Includes: AMZN, BBY, BKS, SNE, TGT
by: Larry Dignan

Comparing e-reader devices in real life settings hasn’t exactly been easy, but that’s about to change pronto. Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) said Thursday it will stock the Amazon Kindle this fall. The move sets up a holiday retail showdown with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) and Sony (NYSE:SNE).

What’s the big deal? Best Buy will now have the Kindle, Sony’s Reader line-up and Barnes & Noble’s nook in one place. Simply put, it’ll be a lot easier to figure out if Sony’s touch screen is more important to you than Kindle’s price and connectivity.

And the real question is this: How many folks will check out e-readers and then wander over to Best Buy’s Apple iPad display.

This demo bake-off will be welcome for the holiday season. To compare e-readers before you’d have to go to Best Buy to check out the Nook and Sony Readers and then go to Target (NYSE:TGT) to see the Kindle. It’s a lot of work.

Best Buy said in a statement that it will be “the only retailer to carry all of the top e-reader brands in-store.”

In any case, Best Buy’s move is a positive development. You can try before you buy and better compare prices and features.