Amazon has been having a lot of success with its Kindle line, and that has encouraged a lot of companies to try and enter this hot market. Barnes & Noble is naturally one of those companies. Until now, nobody could tell whether these guys were planning to come up with their own reader or not,Â but theStreet reports that we may see a Barnes & Noble e-reader soon. If you think about it, this is a natural move but one that could be costly for Barnes & Noble. Kindle was a risky proposition for Amazon, and somehow Amazon has pulled it off. But many have failed in this market before.
Barnes & Noble has been planning for its e-book reader for a while now. It bought Fictionwise which will provide content to B&N’s customers. Barnes & Noble has been in talks with Verizon and AT&T for a wireless service for its reader. This all means we are going to get a connected e-book reader.
On the surface, B&N seems to have a decent idea about what it wants to accomplish in this market. But it’s still a risky move. The future is not the hardware but rather the software. Amazon has understood that, which is why we see Amazon Kindle books coming to other platforms. Unless B&N comes up with an “open platform” e-book reader, there is a good chance that it could fail to duplicate Amazon’s results in the e-book market. But it’s too early to tell at this point.
Your take: can B&N pull a Kindle by just focusing on the hardware?