B&N Nook has truly been a breath of fresh air for e-reader fans. Amazon Kindle may be a powerful device, and it may have the backing of one of the largest e-retailers around. But what consumers want is options. Nook is more than capable of replacing Kindle. Now if only B&N had done a better job launching the device. The company did shoot itself in the legs by underestimating the demand for its Nook, something that Amazon got away with Kindle a couple of years ago. The market conditions are very different these days. e-reader companies simply can’t afford to make huge mistakes like B&N and Plastic Logic have done.
B&N has already started rectifying some of those missteps. For starters, it has finally brought Nook to BestBuy, giving consumers another way to try out and pick up its e-reader. Now we hear that 2 new Nook models are in the works, and we could see at least one of them by the end of 2010.
There is no question that tablets have stolen some of e-readers’ thunder. B&N plans to change all that with these 2 new models. The details are sketchy at this point. However, numerous sources are claiming that B&N management is seriously considering a color-screen Nook. The company is also interested in bringing the costs down, which is why the idea of adding Nook Lite to the mix makes sense. With no 3G support, Nook Lite can go for as low as $199 (though it’s still a bit pricey if you ask me).
B&N is not going to confirm these rumors, and it should not. But the mere fact that they are out there could discourage e-reader fans from picking up Nook in the upcoming months, especially if we are talking about a color Nook. It’s good to know that B&N still has grand plans for its e-reader. At this point, we do know that a full web browser update is in the works for the current generation Nook reader, and that is a good step forward.
Let’s hope e-reader companies do not spend too much time on hardware and focus more on their platforms. Hardware is not the way to go for those e-reader makers that want to stick around for long. Amazon has understood that, and there are indications that B&N gets that as well. Those that do not get it will not stick around for too long.
Your thoughts: do you own a Nook? If so, what’s in your Nook 2 wish-list?