NOV. 7, 2011 • Not to be outdone my Amazon.com’s Kindle Fire tablet, Barnes & Noble introduced it own $249 Nook Tablet. Weighing in at less than a pound, the Nook Tablet provides around 11 hours of reading time. The new model uses the same seven-inch screen from the existing Nook Color, and beefs up the hardware specification. Featured are a 1GHz dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, plus 32GB more storage via SD card. The Nook Tablet also shipped with an updated version of the Android Gingerbread OS than Barnes & Noble has customized.
Impact: The tablet market is heating up with the Nook and Kindle providing some serious competition to the iPad. The most compelling feature that the Nook and Kindle provide is a significantly lower cost and a more portable form factor. Nevertheless, other would-be competitors have failed to make a dent in the iPad’s dominant market share so both tablets face an uphill battle. During fiscal 2011, Apple sold over 32 million units of the iPad which is about the sales of the Nintendo DS during its peak year. However, assuming tablets eventually become as popular as game systems those sales figures indicate there is a great deal of room for other systems. The challenge the Nook and Kindle face is getting more content for their platforms. Right now these systems are mainly designed as book readers, whereas the iPad is essentially a portable PC.