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Barnes & Noble cutting Nook tablet prices

Barnes & Noble Nook tablet Sarah Tew Photography

(CBS/AP) The Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet is getting a price reduction.

The retail giant says it's reducing by $20 the price for its less-expensive model Nook tablet computer, undercutting by that amount the rival Kindle Fire sold by Amazon.

The biggest U.S. traditional book retailer said Sunday it's cutting the price for the 8-gigabyte model Nook tablet to $179 from the current $199. The Kindle Fire, with 6 gigabytes of memory, sells for $199. Barnes & Noble also announced a $50 reduction, to $199 from $249, for its 16-gigabyte Nook tablet.

It was the latest turn in the tablet wars, as Apple's iPad and the iOS system running it continue to dominate the market for tablets despite growing competition, and Microsoft prepares to launch a tablet based on Windows in October.

The pressure to be more competitive may be fueled by persisting rumors that Apple may introduce a 7-inch iPad mini. According to industry rumors, the smaller iPad, priced from $249 to $299, may be announced with the iPhone 5 in September.

The Nook Tablet was originally announced in November 2011.

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