Posted By RichC on April 26, 2010
Since my daughter left her Barnes and Noble Nook at home, I took advantage of updating to the much speedier and improved version 1.3 software. The eBook reader has substantially improved its page turning and now has a less than exciting web browser. I’m not sure I’d use it for much more than very light reference, but it did work when connected to our home wireless access point. The Nook is not a replacement for a computer, nor is it anywhere close to an iPad, in my opinion. That said, reading electronic ink on the Nook’s (or Kindles) low powered display verses a shiny screen of the iPad is probably more comfortable in the sun … or for those staring at the page all day long.
A feature that places the Nook above the Amazon Kindle and other eReaders is for those who do reading in a bookstore coffee shop – BN’s that is. The wifi enable device not only works with home wireless setups, but can be use to read “any parts of any available eBook for up to an hour per day” while in the Barnes and Noble stores. Along with the sharing a book between Nooks (for 14 days), I can see why its sales are currently stronger than the Kindle.
I’m still not sold on the Nook or Kindle as a replacement for paper books and am personally planning to hold off on any new device until I get to play with a second generation Apple iPad … one that sports a few more features and is completely debugged.
The Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader shipped more than Amazon’s Kindle in March, DigiTimes Research claims in a new study.
According to DigiTimes, it consulted "suppliers" of the e-readers to determine how many units shipped. Based on that information, the researchers found that the Nook "accounted for 53 percent of e-book readers shipped to U.S. vendors last month." The company didn’t provide data on how much of the market the Kindle took, but based on the fact that the Nook accounted for more than half of all shipments in March, the researchers concluded that the Kindle trailed.
But before we crown the Nook as the next big thing in the e-reader space, it’s important to consider that Amazon, like Barnes & Noble, doesn’t release Kindle sales figures, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly how many units either company has sold. And since DigiTimes can only see how many units were shipped and not sold, the Kindle, which is currently the top-selling device on Amazon.com, could have beaten Barnes & Noble’s device in sales. That said, Barnes & Noble representatives told CNET recently that sales "continue to exceed projections."
DigiTimes’ findings and Barnes & Noble’s comments highlight something rather interesting: the Nook, a device that many believed would be the also-ran in the e-reader space, is actually selling well. Although it was criticized at launch for issues like slow page-load times, Barnes & Noble recently updated the device to make it more appealing to users. And by virtue of it being offered in Barnes & Noble brick-and-mortar stores, consumers are having a chance to try it out before they buy.
At the same time, the e-reader space is becoming increasingly crowded. Aside from the Kindle and Nook, Apple’s iPad is now competing for readers with its iBooks application. So far, that feature has been almost universally cited as a fine reading experience. Whether or not that will negatively affect Kindle or Nook sales remains to be seen.