With the spotlight turning to Amazon (AMZN) as it prepares to announce brand new Kindle eReaders and Kindle Fire tablet later today, Barnes & Noble (BKS) reportedly has no plans to sit idly by. Digital Trends claims knowledge from an inside source at Barnes & Noble in reporting recently that the bookseller will launch a new Nook Tablet later this month. Details beyond the rumored release timeframe are scarce, though the site does suggest that the tablet may run Windows 8 rather than the custom Android build found on Barnes & Noble’s previous Nook Tablets. The recent tie-up between Microsoft and Barnes & Noble suggests this might be a possibility, but Digital Trends doesn’t seem terribly confident in its claim. More →
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 →
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 →
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’s fifth-generation “e-reading device” will reportedly launch this coming spring. Mentioned in passing within a New York Times profile of the struggling bookseller, it is unclear if the device in question will be a new media tablet or a standard eReader. With Barnes & Noble’s current-generation color tablet having just been announced this past November, however, a refresh of the company’s E Ink-equipped Nook Touch in the spring seems more likely. Barnes & Noble first unveiled the Nook Touch — then referred to as the “all-new Nook” — at a press conference in New York last spring. The device has since been upgraded with an improved display and a battery that lasts up to two months on a single charge, but the design of the eBook reader remained unchanged. The lightweight ergonomic case and soft-touch rubber feel on the Nook Touch make it our preference over Amazon’s E Ink eReader, so we hope the company’s fifth-generation model doesn’t stray far from the current design. More →
Pew Research conducted a pre-holiday survey among people age 16 and older between November 16th and December 21st, and two additional surveys of adults age 18 and older in January. The data found that during the holiday gift giving season, sales of tablets and eBook readers nearly doubled from 10% to 19%. In the same time frame, the number of Americans owning at least one of these devices jumped from 18% to 29%. More than 33% of those living in households earning more than $75,000 a year own a tablet, with almost a third of those with college educations or higher owning the device. The eReader data revealed that more woman own the devices than men and those with both a high level of education and income showed the highest percentage of ownership. More →
Barnes & Noble’s previous-generation Nook slate is getting an update beginning today that will add a number of features from the new Nook Tablet to the device. “Among the new features, NOOK Color v1.4.1 now offers access to streaming popular movies and TV shows through Netflix, comics and graphic novels, new PagePerfect NOOK Books, reading NOOK Books in portrait and landscape modes, and many other enhancements through-out the device,” Barnes & Noble said. Version 1.4.1 of the company’s Android-based operating system is available immediately as a manual update on Barnes & Noble’s website and it will automatically be downloaded to devices over Wi-Fi beginning some time this week. Barnes & Noble’s full change log follows below. More →
Barnes & Noble’s manufacturing partners have now shipped a total of 1 million new Nook Tablets according to a recent report. Unveiled early last month and released shortly thereafter, the new Nook Tablet features a 7-inch “Vivid View” display built by LG, 16GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, a dual-core 1GHz processor and the Android 2.3 operating system. According to sources at component suppliers speaking to DigiTimes, more than a million new Nook Tablets have been manufactured and shipped to Barnes & Noble to date. The report also claims Barnes & Noble had to increase orders recently due to strong sales — the bookseller initially ordered 800,000 Nook Tablets to be built through the end of 2011, DigiTimes noted. More →
By the end of 2014, there will be 89.5 million tablet owners in the United States according to a new forecast, meaning one in three web-connected Americans will own a tablet. Of those 89.5 million people, 68% will own iPads. Market research firm eMarketer recently published its tablet forecast for the next three years and it determined that tablet growth will slow over the coming years, as will iPad sales. The firm estimates that there will be 33.7 million tablet owners in the U.S. by the end of 2011. That number will grow 62.8% to 54.8 million in 2012, and another 37.9% to 75.6 million by the end of 2013. Growth will then drop to 18.3% in 2014 according to eMarketer. Over the same period of time, the firm sees Apple’s market share in the U.S. dropping from 83% in 2011 to 76.4% next year, and then further declining to 68% in 2014. Two tables detailing eMarketer’s predictions follow below. More →
The team at iFixit recently tore open Barnes & Noble’s brand new Nook Tablet to get a closer look at its inner workings see how they compare to Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The group found that the Nook Tablet is powered by a dual-core TI OMAP 4 processor clocked at 1GHz, and it has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal SanDisk storage. It also has a 4,000 mAh battery under the hood that’s rated for up to 11.5 hours of reading time, 3.5 hours longer than the previous generation Nook Color device. The Nook Tablet received a repairability score of 6 out of 10 points, which is worse than the Kindle Fire’s 8/10 score. The LCD can be easily replaced because it isn’t fused to the bezel, however one would need to remove the motherboard in order to replace the battery, and there are “excessive amounts of adhesive” and even hidden screws that made the teardown a bit more tedious than usual. More →
Barnes & Noble took the wraps off its brand new Nook Tablet at a press conference in New York City on Monday, and we just spent some hands-on time with the sleek new slate. First things first: the display is amazing. Barnes & Noble spent a fair amount of time during the tablet’s unveiling touting the quality of the display and we have to say, B&N CEO William Lynch wasn’t exaggerating. The display is obviously one of the most important components of any tablet and Barnes & Noble didn’t skimp in this area. The bookseller spent a lot of time comparing its new tablet with Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Fire, and in the display department it’s really not even close. Hit the break for more and don’t forget to check out our hands-on photos in the gallery below.