August 14, 2012
Nook Prices Slashed Under Increased Pressure From Tablet Market
John Neumann for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Barnes & Noble´s 7-inch Nook Color and Nook Tablet devices are feeling the pressure from an increased number of tablets and e-readers and are now available with price cuts. This comes after rivals such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google´s Nexus 7 have proven popular at the Nook´s expense.Barnes & Noble´s flagship 16-GB Nook Tablet, a 7-inch, full-color touch tablet has been marked down from $249 to $199, writes Ian Paul for PC World. It´s now the same price as Amazon´s own flagship e-reader/tablet, the Kindle Fire, which carries half the storage.
The Fire and Nook are all about consuming content and come up short on standard tablet specs such as cameras, Bluetooth, and GPS. The Nexus 7 is also missing a few features such as a rear-facing camera and wireless broadband. Nevertheless, spec-for-spec Google´s 7-inch tablet blows away the Fire and Nook Tablet.
Jamie Iannone, president of the company´s digital products group, said in a statement about the Nook that they are, “Available for the lowest prices ever. Customers can enjoy our best-in-class digital reading and entertainment experience with an expansive selection of digital content and apps at an unbeatable price.”
As consumers increasingly turn to e-books over traditional books, the e-reader market becomes increasingly crucial to book resellers. Barnes & Noble claims more than 2.5 million titles available for Nook along with movies and TV shows from Netflix and other content partners which flows small, but important income into the book sellers coffers.
The Nook price markdowns follow a busy year for the tablet world. This summer, Microsoft said it will release its Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets this fall. The software giant´s announcement was quickly followed by Google´s late June launch of the Nexus 7.
Under a deal announced this spring, the bookseller will spin off its e-book and reader business into a new subsidiary, in which Microsoft has taken a 17.6 percent stake. In exchange, Microsoft will pay Barnes & Noble $300 million and drop current patent claims, writes Paul McDougall for InformationWeek.
The two companies said the partnership will focus on e-reading devices intended as a textbook platform to compete with Apple´s iBooks. The deal also calls for the development of a Nook-branded e-reader app for use on Windows 8 PCs and tablets, including Microsoft´s own Surface, which will debut in October along with Windows 8 systems from OEMs.