In his conference call with analysts last week, interim Borders CEO Mike Edwards said the chain would begin taking pre-orders for a second reading device this week and yesterday the chain announced it had reached an agreement with Aluratek to sell its forthcoming Libre eBook Reader Pro in its stores. Borders is now taking pre-orders at www.borders.com/libre with shipments to begin in early July. Borders expects to begin selling the e-reader in its stores through its Area-e digital sections in August.
In keeping with Borders’ strategy of selling inexpensive devices, the Libre will be priced at $119.99. Libre owners will be able to buy e-books through the Borders eBook store set to launch later this year. The Libre is the second reading device to be sold by Borders; the chain has been taking orders for the Kobo for several weeks and the company said it could sell as many as 10 devices.
The Libre has multi-function features such as the ability to play digital music and display digital photo albums at a low price-point. Other features include auto-off, page advance, innovative LCD technology and superior battery life that powers up to 24 hours of continuous use. "We're building an eReader that will support the most powerful brand in books and we know Borders shares our vision of bringing an affordable eReader to the masses," said John Wolikow, v-p of sales and marketing for Aluratek. "Unlike others in the marketplace who see an eBook store as a means for selling their own hardware, it makes sense for Borders to take a device-neutral approach and offer their printed book readers a depth of eReader choices."
Other Aluratek products include: Digital Photo Frames, Digital Camcorders,Internet Radio, and external storage devices.