Carrefour, one of the leading hypermarket retailers in France (and globally), has introduced a pair of ereaders which they plan to start selling next week.
The NolimBook and NolimBook+ are rebranded ereaders which were originally designed by Bookeen. Both models will have a 6″ epaper screen (600 x 800 resolution), Wifi, a touchscreen, 4GB of storage, a microSD card slot, and on-device access to the Nolim ebookstore. The Nolimbook+ will also have a frontlight and a slightly faster CPU.
They will be sold at 2 price points, 69 euros and 99 euros. Carrefour is going to start selling the NolimBook next week, and according to the announcement they also plan to remodel all 230 Carrefour stores in France with a new dept intended just to promote the new ereaders. This will be a place where potential customers will be able to try the new ereaders and seek assistance and support from a salesperson.
The NolimBook will also be supported by Carrefour’s new(?) Nolim ebookstore, which Carrefour is promising will be stocked with 100,000 French language titles from major French publishers. That is a considerably larger supply than the 36 thousand or so French language titles Amazon now offers in the Kindle Store on Amazon.com.
In other news Carrefour is also launching reading apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android. The apps appear to be brand spanking new, with the iOS app showing that it was just released yesterday. The Android app is showing that it has fewer than 10 users.
Carrefour is entering a crowded ebook market where all the major international ebookstores are present and actively trying to grow their market share. Based on what little solid info I have, the French ebook market is dominated by Amazon, Kobo, and Apple, with the 3 ebookstores accounting for about 85% of the market. Apple is in third place with Kobo and Amazon in a tight race for the lead.
On a related note, Amazon has dropped the price of the Kindle in France. They’re now selling the basic model for 59 euros, down from 79 euros.