Back when the electronic readers first came out, it was clear that the numbers would eventually thin, with many of the smaller players, and a few of the bigger players, meeting an ignominious end, never to be seen again.

So it will be it seems with the Barnes & Noble Nook 3G model.

The unit is set to be retired once the current stocks are gone, and, of course, no one is telling what the stock situation is, so as to help create need in the minds of those that might have been on the fence.

The models featuring wi-fi only and the color model, the Nookcolor, will continue to be offered, and will remain as lower end alternatives to the Amazon Kindle.

The Nook 3G is priced at $199, and the article with the details admonishes us to hurry, if we want one.

How many other models will we begin to see drop away from the passel of models all doing much the same job, with names as diverse as the companies that offer them?

Is it the popularity of the model itself and its cost, or the overall cost of maintaining the 3G account that is causing the removal of this device from the market? Does it mean that low-end readers are willing to give up the freedom provided by 3G for the extra change in the pocket for some coffee, or some other beverage while reading at a place offering wi-fi?