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Barnes & Noble planning May 24 launch of new e-reader iPad competitor

post #1 of 29
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Bookseller Barnes & Noble revealed in an SEC filing Wednesday that the company plans to announce a new e-reader device on May 24th, creating yet another competitor to Apple's iPad.

Barnes & Noble filed Form 8-K with the SEC in compliance with regulations regarding insider trading, Reuters reports. According to the filing, the company "indicated it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011 regarding the launch of a new eReader device" in a meeting with investor analysts on Wednesday.

It remains unclear whether the new device will fall under the Nook branding. When the Nook was first released in 2009, it featured an e-ink screen, making it a direct competitor to the Amazon Kindle e-reader. Barnes & Noble appeared to abandon the e-ink-only strategy in favor of challenging the iPad with a more feature-rich tablet when it released the Nook Color last year.

Last week, the $249 Nook Color received a software update to its Google Android operating system that expanded its capabilities to include email, a web browser and games.

Shares of Barnes & Noble jumped over 14 percent on Wednesday to close at $12.01. The company has struggled to adapt to the current climate; its stock has dropped 40 percent since this time last year. In February, the bookseller suspended its quarterly dividend payment in order to gain the "financial flexibility" needed to invest heavily in the digital content market and the Nook.



"We intend for Barnes & Noble to be a leader in the exploding market for digital content," Chief Executive William Lynch said at the time, while estimating that his company held 25 percent of the U.S. e-book market.



Amazon to follow suit?

Though rival Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has repeatedly insisted that the company's focus is on building an e-reader and not a tablet, recent reports suggest that Amazon may be preparing a tablet device for release later this year. In March, some iOS developers reported that Amazon was courting them to port their apps to the Kindle platform.

Amazon has lowered prices on the Kindle to distance it from the iPad. Bezos announced late last year that many Kindle purchasers already own the iPad. The Kindle's price may have bottomed out, however, as analysts believe Amazon was unable to reach the $99 tipping point for the recently announced ad-supported Kindle, electing instead for the unusual price of $114.

post #2 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Bookseller Barnes & Noble revealed in an SEC filing Wednesday that the company plans to announce a new e-reader device on May 24th, creating yet another competitor to Apple's iPad...

The thing a lot of people don't realise is that while these devices are "competitors" they are also helping the iPad conquer the world at the same time.

It's like when desktop computers first appeared. There were all kind of different types and variations made by dozens of different companies, but the industry ended up standardising (as it always does), on one basic form, the IBM compatible. All that those other different approaches did in the end was slake the initial demand for devices and promote the concept of the desktop computer without actually winning the market for the desktop computer.

The same thing will happen in tablets. iOS and the iPad is already the standard and has been from day one. All these iPad wannabees will be forgotten in a few years and all they will have achieved is promoting and advancing the general idea that "tablets are the future," allowing for even more iPad sales when they fail.
post #3 of 29
Headline should read... "Barnes & Noble to release new tablet"

Whether it's a "competitor" to the iPad.... that's a different story.
post #4 of 29
So basically, another Nook Color?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #5 of 29
I really don't believe that ebook readers should be consider competitors to the iPad. There is some overlap in functionality but equally there is some overlap in functionality between an iPod shuffle and an iPhone.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

The same thing will happen in tablets. iOS and the iPad is already the standard and has been from day one. All these iPad wannabees will be forgotten in a few years and all they will have achieved is promoting and advancing the general idea that "tablets are the future," allowing for even more iPad sales when they fail.

It is a very dangerous to expect the competition to fail and disappear. Yes the current versions have issues but we should expect that over the course of the year the problems will be fixed and there will be a serious competition.
post #7 of 29
Calling an e-reader a competitor to the iPad is like calling a motorcycle a competitor to a car.
"Don't be a dick!"Wil Wheaton
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"Don't be a dick!"Wil Wheaton
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post #8 of 29
What is going to hurt BN in the long run is when they sell these things as loss leaders to sell digital books, when you spec it up and allow people to "root" them and access other stores, then you are essentially losing out on your only means of revenue.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

Calling an e-reader a competitor to the iPad is like calling a motorcycle a competitor to a car.

Or like calling iOS devices a competitor to Portable gaming Consoles.
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

Headline should read... "Barnes & Noble to release new tablet"

Whether it's a "competitor" to the iPad.... that's a different story.

At least every new tablet is less and less being portrayed as an "iPad killer" right out of the gate.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

So basically, another Nook Color?

No, it is a "new e-reader device". Get with the program...!
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

The thing a lot of people don't realise is that while these devices are "competitors" they are also helping the iPad conquer the world at the same time.

It's like when desktop computers first appeared. There were all kind of different types and variations made by dozens of different companies, but the industry ended up standardising (as it always does), on one basic form, the IBM compatible. All that those other different approaches did in the end was slake the initial demand for devices and promote the concept of the desktop computer without actually winning the market for the desktop computer.

The same thing will happen in tablets. iOS and the iPad is already the standard and has been from day one. All these iPad wannabees will be forgotten in a few years and all they will have achieved is promoting and advancing the general idea that "tablets are the future," allowing for even more iPad sales when they fail.

That's a very interesting view I haven't heard of the iPad yet. You make a valid point, new forms of media or ways of obtaining/accessing media goes through an initial stage of competitive selective process and one usually stands when the dust settles. I can think of a hand full of examples, and I'm sure you can add to this list:
-HD DVD vs Blue ray,
-Sirius vs XM
-Secure digital memory cards (SD) vs everything else (smart media, compact flash, XD, memory stick, etc)
-mp3 vs other file formats (cant think of names, but Sony had one and Toshiba? had one)
-cd-rw formats (r+-/?$&@whatever w)
-ipod vs zune and other mp3 players

This may not be a comprehensive list, or something that seems to compare directly with the iPad, but the tablet concept is very new. Something to access movies, music, the interweb, and games, but not yet a laptop, not a TV, not a music player.

The difference I see with this fight for the iPad, and similarly the iPhone, is that Android is out there in numbers. I want to say but I'm not sure, that Android has about the same market share as iOS. The funny thing is, everything is compared to the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
-
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post

Or like calling iOS devices a competitor to Portable gaming Consoles.

Not quite the analogy I was going for, but in a more general sense, yeah, sure, okay. \
"Don't be a dick!"Wil Wheaton
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post #14 of 29
I love my original nook for the e-ink, but its web features are sl-o-o-o-w. If I buy a more 'traditional' lcd based device, it will be an ipad. If B&N could perfect color e-ink with no loss of speed as an e-reader and a faster web browser at a significantly lower price than the ipad, it would fly. Otherwise, I'd still buy the ipad and keep the black and white Nook for outdoor reading.
post #15 of 29
Obviously neither barns and noble nor amazon are gunning for the iPad. They are just trying to cover their rears for the time when cheap android tablets on the low end start selling at their price range and annihilate their e-reader business.

iPad has forced the e-reader industry to lower prices signifcantly, they certainly don't want samsung or htc eating their lunch at the low end as well. I would still say e-Inc makes for a much better reading experience, but it's better to be on offensive against cheap tablet readers then having to fight a defensive war stating e-Inc is better and hoping consumers agree.
--SHEFFmachine out
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--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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post #16 of 29
I just heard a piece on NPR talking about the iPad2 and the competition and they had the Tech writer for the Washington Post (?) and basically said the current crop of iPad competitors may have given some competition to the first gen. iPad but certainly not the iPad2. Generalizing here, but he said they are thicker, heavier, slower and not as feature rich as the iPad2.

I know we all here at AI know this but it's good to hear someone in the Media agree and not just report for example; RIM Introduces New iPad Killer Tablet!

Anyway...

Best
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

I really don't believe that ebook readers should be consider competitors to the iPad. There is some overlap in functionality but equally there is some overlap in functionality between an iPod shuffle and an iPhone.

Absolutely...

It's almost like some just like typing the word 'iPad' regardless of actual context/relevance.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post

Or like calling iOS devices a competitor to Portable gaming Consoles.

On how closely you look at it. For example, an hard-core gamer will insist on a very wide distinction between the two, since the iPad is a general-purpose portable device, while the PGS is a dedicated device/system. But the average user, much like those who will play games on a PC instead of an Xbox or Playstation or Wii, doesn't much care about the distinction because they want the availability of games without having to switch hardware or inputs.

The input issues on a general purpose mobile device of any make/model will alway fall short of a dedicated device from the perspective of purist gaming, and will only present minor challenges to the casual gamer.

The same goes for eReading. Backlit general purpose devices will always have some level of challenge in presenting eBook/text-based reading matter in bright sunshine situations, where the essentially reflective dedicated eInk reader will handle it better. They will improve eInk readers to allow better web access, better speed and rendering, top lighting and so on, but it will not replace a general purpose mobile device at the same level of utility, but it may present an acceptable subset.
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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post #19 of 29
I played with a new Nook for the first time as I was thinking of it as a Mother's Day gift, as $250 is what we'd spend. I figured as long as I felt it was a good user experience that's all I needed to know. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked using it in general for web browsing. I would even get one for myself just to have a better widget to surf while prone than my iPod touch, which I love. But as far as a newer, better, more expensive Nook I'd warn B & N that over $350 and I'd get an iPad instead, no matter what it was.

There's a very basic price niche that the other tablet and e-readers have to now conform to, and that is that if Apple offers nothing for $250 except an iPod then they have a wide open market for 7" Android tablets around $300. If they choose to aim higher for no reason other than to have a wider range these will just sit on the shelves. Having finally used a Nook I can say that I like it for $250 but a 10" model with more storage or bells and whistles is absolutely not appealing for $425. It would have to be a totally reworked interface, which it won't be, and it's still reliant on an OS that someone else out there is providing.

Really the only things for Apple that is causing any lack of a slam dunk on their lower end is the way other tablets have USB, mini SDHC ports and other connections right out of the box. Aside from that I've never used one that I didn't feel lacked the simple effortlessness of the iPad, and that's worth some price difference.

I'm interested what this will be. But IMO a $425 Nook is not going to get the attention of someone with that budget (who, like me, would be happy enough buying what is sold as an e-reader if it's a great internet browser).


BTW, sis told me not to get the Nook, Mom doesn't want it. She likes her 2010 MBP just fine for everything. : )
post #20 of 29
I'd like to see a color e-ink device. Yes, it won't be as saturated as an LCD display, nor as good as glossy paper print. But it should compare favorably to newspaper. And for the majority of books and other print-to-digital migrations be good enough. E-ink's big advantage over LCDs is visibility in sunlight. You can't sit by the pool or on the deck or in the park and read an iPad.

For tablet LCD based form-factor, the iPad has the market locked. But a color e-ink device priced $50-$100 over the current monochrome e-ink readers could be a good move.

- Jasen.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

I'd like to see a color e-ink device. Yes, it won't be as saturated as an LCD display, nor as good as glossy paper print. But it should compare favorably to newspaper. And for the majority of books and other print-to-digital migrations be good enough. E-ink's big advantage over LCDs is visibility in sunlight. You can't sit by the pool or on the deck or in the park and read an iPad.

For tablet LCD based form-factor, the iPad has the market locked. But a color e-ink device priced $50-$100 over the current monochrome e-ink readers could be a good move.

CNET, which is saying there's a good chance it will be color e-ink makes a good point today regarding the trade off necessary for the right price point. It will need to either do away with the touch screen navigation in favor of hardware buttons or keep the form as small as it is now and not add any features. Personally, my dislike of the hardware button navigated readers is greater than my desire for a better thing to read on than a backlit LCD (which I agree is unreadable in some conditions).
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

I really don't believe that ebook readers should be consider competitors to the iPad. There is some overlap in functionality but equally there is some overlap in functionality between an iPod shuffle and an iPhone.

True, if your talking about E-ink devices. However the nook color WAS intended to be more tablet like. It has a full color touchscreen and is a very similar form-factor to the iPad. It runs a bastardized version of android, and has the android market completely stripped out. It was slow, laggy and very poor even for an e-reader. IMO, for a dedicated E-reader I think the kindle is tops. For an all around tablet, the iPad smokes the competition.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post

Or like calling iOS devices a competitor to Portable gaming Consoles.

Funny you should make that analogy, because Nintendo has admitted that they are losing millions of dollars to people buying ipod touches for games. Games, I might add, that are as good or better than many of nintendo's offerings.
post #24 of 29
It will be interesting to see what Barnes & Noble come up with. There really isn't a market for an lcd eReader without tablet capabilities unless it is dirt cheap. The smartest thing B&N could do would be to vastly expand the Nook's tablet capabilities (no more rooting necessary), keep the 7" screen, open the Nook to the full realm of android marketplace apps (even competitor's apps), hold the price at $249 and position the device as the everyman's iPad.

Then they should launch them exclusively at the Barnes & Noble brick and mortar stores for the first 6 weeks to drive foot traffic to stores and promote and burnish the B&N brand.

A well reviewed $249 tablet would be a game changer for both Barnes & Noble and the tablet market overall.
post #25 of 29
Barnes & Noble will sadly soon join Borders as a memory.
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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post #26 of 29
For those of us who go to the internet mainly to read periodicals and documents, and also download books and longer articles, this is what we always wanted. A very low power reader device with Wi-Fi capability and plenty of storage for text. I spend as much time reading downloaded newspapers and periodicals on my Sony PRS650 Reader Touch Edition as I do on my iPad. I watch videos mainly because they are so accessible on my iPad, but ny first choice is reading printed matter. I have been an Apple/Mac user since 2000 and am waiting with baited breath for them to use their superior design talents to turn out an E-reader with Internet connection. I have no problem turning on a light at night to read on the newest E-ink screens, which are very clear. I've never balked at paying a premium for Apple products, so I can utilize their superior software environment, and would jump at the chance to get a pricey E-reader that interfaced seamlessly with OSX. For now, Calibre is the best I can do, and it's pretty good on my Mac. And also, I wouldn't mind having iTunes on a reader so I could listen to my NPR podcasts.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Barnes & Noble will sadly soon join Borders as a memory.

Man... Borders... What a great brand wasted.
post #28 of 29
My daughter asked my opinion of the Nook Color yesterday. Her mother-in-law let it be known at Christmas that she wanted one. She dropped a hint again this week, saying another one of her friends had one now and she just loved it.

She's probably the ideal consumer for something like the Nook. She's a voracious reader, and uses a computer for no more than checking email, looking up recipes and reading up on health issues (If there's an ailment known to man, she's had it or knows someone who does).

For her, an iPad would be overkill and a waste of my daughter's money. That $250 Nook is all she really needs.
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post #29 of 29
Surprisingly, for a company moving into a new field, Barnes & Noble has got it spot on. The e-ink Nook was a very well built device with an excruciatingly slow OS. To their credit, they moved quickly and within a month had an update with greatly improves speeds (by e-ink standards). It uses open standards and apart from the books that I buy from their store, I can side load my own books and converted Kindle books. e-ink is fantastic for reading and within a week I was hooked.

I bought the iPad a few months later and while the book software is excellent, the lack of e-ink, the weight and size of the iPad made it a very poor substitute for an e-ink reader. After a few months of disuse, I sold the iPad.

I then bought the Nook Color. At $250, rooted and with the CyanogenMod ROM, it's a very capable tablet. It has the same problem of not being an e-ink deviceand I mostly use the e-ink Nook to read.

If B&N has a color e-ink which marries Nook Color and e-Ink Nook at the same prices that they have so far been selling the Nooks, they will have another fantastic product that I'll most likely be buying.

But as others have said, not for anything more than $250. I'll definitely be getting the Asus Transformer when it's widely available to replace the iPad I sold a few months ago.
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