Barnes & Noble will release a Nook Tablet on Monday, Nov. 11, that has twice the memory and storage of Amazon's upcoming Kindle Fire. While the Nook cannot draw upon the huge content inventory that Amazon has, both it and the Fire point to the further evolution of e-readers into mini-tablets.
The new Nook Tablet, like the Fire, has a seven-inch screen, and it can build on the success of the Nook Color, which is now second in shipments to Apple's iPad. The new tablet will be offered at $249, currently the price of the Nook Color, which is expected to drop in price below $200.
Nov. 15 and 16
The Kindle Fire ships Nov. 15, and, according to the reports, the new Nook Tablet will ship the next day. The Nook Tablet will feature 1 GB of memory, compared with 512 MB for the Color and the Fire. It will also have 16 GB of storage, expandable to 32 GB, and will sport a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, faster than the dual-core in the Fire and the single-core in the Color. The Color and the Fire each have 8 GB of storage.
Several weeks ago, Amazon unveiled its Kindle Fire tablet, which will sell for $199. Aside from the price and hardware differences, the Fire takes advantage of Amazon's cloud to speed up Web browsing, and is intended to be a playback device for Amazon's huge store of content. According to news reports, Amazon is selling the Kindle as a loss leader, under the price of manufacture, in order to move more content.
Amazon has also been actively working to build on its content advantage. On Thursday, it announced the Kindle Owners Lending Library, with thousands of book titles -- including more than 100 bestsellers -- available at no additional charge to Kindle-owning subscribers of Amazon Prime, which costs $79 annually and includes other benefits. Recently, the company also announced an arrangement with about 11,000 public libraries to offer free lending copies of e-books for the Kindle device.
In an interview with Bloomberg News Service, Amazon founder and head Jeff Bezos has said that his company doesn't "think of the Kindle Fire as a tablet. We think of it as a service."
B&N 'Doesn't Have a Choice'
Avi Greengart, an analyst with industry research firm Current Analysis, noted that the Nook Color "is due for a refresh," which the Nook Tablet will provide. But it's clear, he said, that Barnes & Noble, like Amazon, wants to attract third-party application developers to its platform and continue the transition from e-readers to mini-tablets.
Greengart noted that Barnes & Noble has done "some interesting things in using its brick-and-mortar stores in conjunction with its tablets," such as in-store offers. But, he said, Amazon's huge content inventory is "way more" than just books, with audio books, movies, music, TV shows, apps, and physical goods, plus cloud-based storage and computing power to speed Web browsing.
This is a formidable challenge to Barnes & Noble, Greengart said, but the retailer "doesn't have a choice," since the book business is going digital.
"They've done a pretty good job so far," he added, "but they might be outgunned going forward."
Posted: 2011-11-11 @ 3:13pm PT
@Michael, @Jim, @BillyBob: Thanks for the feedback. This story was published just prior to release of the Nook. We made a couple adjustments, but for more details, please see the Related Stories link for additional info on the Nook or check out this followup story
Posted: 2011-11-11 @ 9:06am PT
I agree with Jim. This article is very mediocre and deserves more then what we see.
Posted: 2011-11-07 @ 3:22pm PT
Mediocre article, because you don't have a full-list of its specs. What's up with that???
Posted: 2011-11-07 @ 10:22am PT
No news and marginal info in this article.