Apple’s iPad may be alone at the top when it comes to tablet traffic, but some movement down at the bottom earlier this month is raising a few eyebrows. Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet has been a quiet success story ever since it first launched in 2010 as the Nook Color, and it looks like the eReader/tablet combo still has some fight left in it. Amazon’s Kindle Fire has garnered far more attention than its B&N counterpart since it launched late last year, but according to ad network Chitika, the Nook Tablet’s share of traffic across its massive network recently surpassed that of the Kindle Fire. Barnes & Nobles tablet was responsible for 20% more traffic than the Kindle Fire between June 4th and June 10th of this year, but the two are still fighting over scraps — Apple’s iPad claimed 91.07% of all tablet traffic during that period, while the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire accounted for 0.85% and 0.71%, respectively. More →
Amazon’s Kindle Fire debuted and found rapid success, recording an explosive first quarter and capturing a 14% share of the overall tablet market. The latest numbers from comScore indicate the Kindle Fire had almost doubled its share of the U.S. Android tablet market over the past two months to 54.4%. According to market research firm IDC, however, Amazon’s market share tumbled from 16.8% in the fourth quarter of 2011 to just over 4% last quarter, pushing Amazon to the No.3 spot behind Apple and Samsung. The Cupertino-based company shipped 11.8 million iPads, down from 15.4 during its holiday quarter, and increased its worldwide share from 54.7% to 68%. Samsung took advantage while Kindle Fire sales slid and regained the No.2 position while Lenovo captured the fourth spot, followed by Barnes & Noble. Read on for IDC’s press release. More →
Barnes & Noble’s Nook eReader business is expected to see continued growth and was recently spun off into a new subsidiary that Microsoft invested $300 million in. The company’s CEO William Lynch sat down with Fortune and spoke about the future of the Nook business, and the executive said NFC-equipped Nook eReaders will be released as early as this year. “We’re going to start embedding NFC chips into our Nooks,” the CEO said. “We can work with the publishers so they would ship a copy of each hardcover with an NFC chip embedded with all the editorial reviews they can get on BN.com. And if you had your Nook, you can walk up to any of our pictures, any our aisles, any of our bestseller lists, and just touch the book, and get information on that physical book on your Nook and have some frictionless purchase experience. That’s coming, and we could lead in that area.” More →
Microsoft and Barnes & Noble on Monday announced the formation of a new partnership that will spin the bookseller’s digital Nook and College businesses into a new unnamed subsidiary. Microsoft’s investment of $300 million will bring it a 17% stake in the newly formed business, which is valued at $1.7 billion, and Barnes & Noble will own approximately 82.4% of the new company. “The formation of [this new subsidiary] and our relationship with Microsoft are important parts of our strategy to capitalize on the rapid growth of the NOOK business, and to solidify our position as a leader in the exploding market for digital content in the consumer and education segments,” said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble. “Microsoft’s investment in Newco, and our exciting collaboration to bring world-class digital reading technologies and content to the Windows platform and its hundreds of millions of users, will allow us to significantly expand the business.” Share of Barnes & Noble stock surged 80% in pre-market trading on the news. Barnes & Noble’s full press release follows below. More →
Barnes & Noble on Tuesday announced that its new Nook Simple Touch eBook reader will begin shipping ahead of schedule over the next week. The bookseller unveiled its new Nook eReader earlier this month, and the response has been positive thus far. BGR reviewed the original Nook Simple Touch and found it to be a terrific device, though Amazon’s Kindle ecosystem posed the eReader’s biggest hurdle. The new Simple Touch model is very similar to the earlier version, however it includes a new “GlowLight” display that allows users to read in the dark without sacrificing the clarity and look of the E Ink display. Strong demand for the new Nook will result in a limited supply, but Barnes & Noble said that pre-orders placed on its website will ship in time for Mother’s Day. Amazon is reportedly preparing to launch its own front-lit eReader in the coming months, as well as a new model with a color E Ink display. Barnes & Noble’s full press release follows below. More →
Barnes & Noble may be looking to beat Amazon to the market with an eReader that includes a front-lit E Ink display. The Digital Reader on Wednesday posted an image of a purported advertisement for an unannounced Nook Simple Touch that features screen technology Barnes & Noble highlighted as “GlowLight.” The new Nook is said to have a lighting mechanism embedded over its E Ink screen that will evenly distribute light across the display surface. Further details regarding price or a release date are unavailable, however The Digital Reader suggest a Thursday, April 12th launch is possible. The full Nook Simple Touch advertisement seen below. More →
Tablet shipments increased 56.1% in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 28.2 million units worldwide, according to market research firm IDC. A total of 68.7 million tablets were shipped in 2011, up 155% over 2010. Apple shipped 15.4 million iPads in the fourth quarter representing 54.7% of the global market, down from 61.5% in the third quarter of 2011. Amazon shipped an estimated 4.7 million Kindle fire tablets to grab 16.8% of the global market, while Samsung increased from a 5.5% share in the third quarter to 5.8% in the fourth. Barnes & Noble, despite shipping more units than in the previous quarter, saw its worldwide market share fall from 4.5% to 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Pandigital rounded out the top five with a 2.5% of the market share. IDC predicts that low-cost Android tablets will help Google’s mobile platform overtake Apple’s market share by 2015, however iOS will remain more profitable. Read on for IDC’s press release.
Amazon’s popular Kindle Fire is seen as having a huge impact on eReader shipments in the first quarter of 2012. The 7-inch Android tablet burst onto the scene in November and with less than seven weeks of availability in the fourth quarter, it managed to secure Amazon 14% of the global tablet market according to IHS iSupply. Demand for the Kindle Fire has remained strong in the first quarter — the slate is still Amazon’s best-selling electronics device for the 16th week running — and according to DigiTimes Research, eReader shipments will take a huge hit this quarter as a result. A seasonal decline from the holiday quarter to the first quarter is always anticipated, but DigiTimes’s research arm sees global eBook reader shipments dropping from 9 million units in the December quarter to just 2 million this quarter, a 78% decline. DigiTimes Research still projects solid eReader shipment growth in the coming years, however, as sales into channels jump from an estimated 22.82 million units in 2011 to more than 60 million units by 2015. More →
Apple’s shipments of iPads and MacBooks in the fourth quarter combined to give the Cupertino-based company a 26.6% percent share of the mobile PC market, according to a report from DisplaySearch released on Thursday. Apple shipped a total of 23.4 million units, nearly three times the amount of No.2 HP. The iPad accounted for 18.7 million units and captured 59.1% of the tablet market. Amazon shipped 5.3 million Kindle Fire’s for 16.7% of the market, with Samsung shipping 2.1 million and controlling 6.7% of the market. ASUS shipped 1.5 million units for a 4.6% market share and Barnes & Noble shipped 1.1 million units for a 3.5% share. Apple’s fourth quarter notebook shipments came in at 4.6 million units for an 8.3% share of the market. Ranking ahead of the Cupertino-based company was HP (15%), Dell (11.8%), Acer (11.8%) and Lenovo (10.8%). Read on for DisplaySearch’s press release. More →
Barnes & Noble on Tuesday unveiled a new version of its popular Nook Tablet to compete directly with Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Lining up with earlier reports, the new Barnes & Noble slate features the same specs as the earlier Nook Tablet, however the device’s internal storage has been halved to 8GB. ”For any customer who likes to read digitally, watch movies or TV shows, browse the web, or help their kids read and learn through interactive books and apps, our new $199 NOOK Tablet with 8GB is the best product value on the market,” Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said in a statement. “NOOK Tablet is the highest-rated wireless media tablet in the 7-inch class, ultra-portable at under a pound, offers our exclusive VividView screen technology, and since its introduction this holiday has received rave reviews from customers about all its great features. We’re pleased to now offer customers the ability to experience NOOK Tablet’s unmatched content experience for only $199.” Barnes & Noble also stated that its previous-generation Android tablet, the Nook Color, will drop to $169, undercutting the Kindle Fire by $30. The company’s full press release follows below. More →
Barnes & Noble may be planning to launch a new version of its Nook Tablet at the same $199 price point that has helped Amazon’s Kindle Fire retain its spot atop Amazon’s best-selling electronics list since its launch last year. According to a purported internal memo circulated at Walmart and obtained by The Verge, the new version of Barnes & Noble’s popular Nook Tablet will launch on Tuesday. The only known difference between the current Nook Tablet and the new version is the slate’s internal storage, which will be cut in half from 16GB to 8GB. Pricing is not mentioned in the memo, but Barnes & Noble’s 16GB tablet is currently listed at $249. Considering the downsized flash storage chip and the Kindle Fire’s $199 price tag, a new sub-$200 price tag is a safe bet if this rumor pans out. A screenshot of the purported memo follows below. More →
Barnes & Noble on Monday received some potentially good news following the rejection of its antitrust suit against Microsoft earlier this month. Microsoft is looking to halt the import of the bookseller’s Nook slates, claiming the devices infringe three Microsoft patents. Barnes & Noble argued that the patents in question are invalid because they do not cover new inventions, and the company has a new ally. Jeff Hsu, a staff attorney at the U.S. International Trade Commission, told Bloomberg he recommended that ITC Judge Theodore Essex rule that there is no violation by Barnes & Noble. Microsoft said the recommendation was made before evidence was presented, and it believes Hsu’s opinion may change once the trial gets underway. Bloomberg notes, however, that the ITC staff acts as a third party in the case and there’s no requirement that the judge follow any recommendations. Microsoft claims the Android operating system found on Barnes & Noble’s Nook eReader utilizes its protected technology, and the software giant has signed agreements with roughly 70% of Android vendors in the United States to license the technology in question. Judge Essex is expected to release his findings on April 27th.
Barnes & Noble and Microsoft are currently tied up in two separate legal battles, one being heard by the Department of Justice and the other by the International Trade Commission. In March 2011, like previous Android vendors, Microsoft accused Barnes & Noble’s NOOK and NOOK Color of infringing on the company’s patents. The software giant, which takes in roughly $450 million a year through Android royalties, was looking to license the infringed patents to the bookseller, but the company fired back with claims that Microsoft was creating an abusive monopoly. It is now being suggested by patent expert Florian Muller of FOSS Patents that the ITC is likely to reject Barnes & Noble’s antitrust complaint against Microsoft, however. The complete order is not publicly available, but an administrative law judge has reportedly dismissed Barnes & Noble’s patent misuse defense against Microsoft . The judge issued a detailed order that has not yet been made public, but the headline reads, “Initial Determination Granting Microsoft’s Motion for Summary Determination of Respondents’ First Affirmative Defense of Patent Misuse.” The ITC evidentiary hearing will begin on Monday, February 6th. More →