Dispatches from the Digital Revolution
By KEIRA LYONS
Barnes and Noble announced the debut of the Nook Tablet on Monday, November 7, 2011. BN.com president, William Lynch, and Barnes and Noble president of digital products, Jamie Iannone, spent much of their time during the presentation highlighting the ways in which the Nook Tablet met and exceeded the capabilities of the Amazon Kindle Fire. According to an article from Publishers Weekly, Barnes and Nobles claims the Nook Tablet is “lighter,” and “faster,” “with better battery life” than that of the Kindle Fire. To increase the rivalry, it is even being released for sale the same week as the Kindle Fire: the Kindle Fire will be available November 15, the Nook Tablet, November 17.
But where does the Nook Tablet fall short of the Amazon mark? The price tag. Coming in at $249, it is $50 more expensive than Amazon’s Kindle Fire. For many consumers, (sadly, I might add), that is the only piece of information they will consider when making a tablet purchase.
Apple’s iPad set the bar when it comes to tablet devices. Now companies are scrambling to compete with the hugely successful iPad in the only way they can: by undercutting the hefty iPad price tag. Consumers who wouldn’t drop $500 – $800 on an iPad will view the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet for what they’re really trying to be—cheaper iPads. With the holidays coming up fast, many of the people purchasing tablet devices will not be the actual users, but will be buying them for someone else. When capabilities are nearly comparable, (there are some slight differences between the two tablets, including built-in storage capacity and RAM), the price will become the deciding factor. Do you really want to lose the opportunity to win the anti-iPad faction because of that?
Way to go, Barnes and Noble. You’ve created a tablet which could actually challenge the sales potential of the Kindle Fire, but you’ve shot yourself in the foot by not offering it at a truly competitive price.
You’ve guessed it: this one gets my weekly vote for dislike!