In a move which could threaten Amazon's dominance in the ereader market, Barnes & Noble will launch its Nook ereaders in the UK this autumn.

Barnes and Noble Nook
Barnes & Noble will launch the Nook ereader in the UK this autumn.

The Barnes & Noble Nook ereader was first launched back in 2007, with the second generation, called the Nook Simple Touch, launching last year in the US. Until now the ereaders have only been available in North America.

The UK ereader market is dominated by the Amazon Kindle and while the online shopping giant doesn't reveal its sales figures, the Kindle ereader is consistently the number one selling item on its website.

Barnes & Noble has announced it will initially offer the Nook Simple Touch and the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight to UK customers for the first time this autumn, as well as opening a UK-specific online store featuring "more than 2.5 million digital titles - including top-selling UK books, newspapers and magazines - plus comics, exciting Nook Apps and more."

The Nook ereaders feature a 6in E-Ink touch screen similar to the latest version of the Kindle and cost the same in the US. The GlowLight version of the Nook features an inbuilt light to let you read in the dark, a feature the Kindle still doesn't have.

Like Amazon, Barnes & Noble have also launched its own 7in Android tablet, called the Nook tablet, but it is unclear whether or not this will go on sale in the UK. When we asked a Barnes & Noble spokesperson, they said:

"We haven't had confirmation on devices other than the Simple Touch and Simple Touch with GlowLight yet, but we expect to have further information on this within the next few weeks."

Kindle Fire

Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet is still only on sale in the US, though the company recently announced it was looking for developers in the UK and Europe to create apps for a European-specific store, indicating that the second generation Kindle Fire may launch in the UK too.

As well as the Barnes & Noble Nook and Amazon Kindle Fire, Google has recently announced its own 7in tablet, the Nexus 7, which has been aggressively priced at just £159.

Announcing the news, Barnes & Noble CEO William J. Lynch said: "We are proud to be able to offer our top-rated line of Nook reading devices and our award-winning digital bookstore to the discerning and highly educated consumers in the UK. We're confident our award-winning technology, combined with our expansive content - including books, children's books, magazines, apps, movies and more - will bring UK customers the option they've been waiting for."

Details about a specific launch date, pricing or where the ereaders will be on sale have all yet to be finalised by the company.

In April, Microsoft announced it was investing $300m (£185m) in the Barnes & Noble Nook venture and this is the first major announcement since the investment.

While Barnes & Noble has a network of 1,300 stores in the US in which it sells its ereaders and tablets, it has no similar presence in the UK and will no doubt look to partner with some high profile retailers in order to get its Nook products in front of customers.

Amazon announced in May that it was partnering with Waterstones to sell its Kindle ereaders through its chain of 300 UK stores.