Summer must be ending soon. Not only are the daylight hours shrinking, but so are the prices on many soon-to-be-out-of-date consumer electronics devices in the buildup to the launch of new products.

Barnes & Noble this morning joined in the pre-fall price-cutting trend by dropping the starting price of the Nook Tablet to $179 and the Nook Color e-reader to $149.

The move by Barnes & Noble is notable in part because it makes the 8GB version of the Nook Tablet $20 less than Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which has roughly the same amount of storage. The price of the 16GB Nook Tablet is now $199, matching the Kindle Fire with twice the storage.

Amazon last week offered temporary discount on the large-screen Kindle DX but has held pricing steady on the Kindle Fire so far.

Meanwhile, as noted by AllThingsD, some large retailers are offering discounts on the iPhone 4 and 4S, in advance of the expected unveiling of new iPhone models for the fall. As reported by MacRumors and confirmed by the Wall Street Journal, Apple has authorized employees at its retail stores to match the prices if customers bring them up.

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