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No Nook by Christmas? Here's a $100 gift card

Barnes & Noble alerts some customers who preordered the new e-reader that they might not get the device in time for Christmas. Company says it will send a $100 gift certificate, with apologies.

Some customers who placed early orders for Barnes & Noble's Nook may not see their e-reader arrive in time for Christmas.

Barnes & Noble told some customers by e-mail Friday that though their shipment "has been slightly delayed," the company is aiming to get their device to them by Thursday, which is Christmas Eve. If it's not shipped in time, Barnes & Noble promises "with our sincerest apologies, we will send you an e-mail notification on December 23rd with a $100 Barnes& Online Gift Certificate." The e-mail also said if delivery until December 11. Originally, early orders were supposed to ship by the end of November.

Toward the end of November, the Barnes & Noble Web site declared the Nook was out of stock. Back then, Keating told CNET the company was "on track to ship devices that were preordered prior to today by the holidays," and that the November 20 update on availability applied only to orders placed starting then. The Nook's arrival in Barnes & Noble stores for sale or demonstration purposes was also expected to be delayed a week because of high demand. The company said it was giving priority to customers who had ordered the device before November 20.

On Saturday, the Barnes & Noble Web site showed the expected ship date for new orders is February 1.