Barnes & Noble officially launched its 7″ inch touchscreen Nook Tablet in USA on 7th November, 2011 priced at $249 that goes head-to-head with the Amazon Kindle Fire, which is priced at $199. Barnes & Noble chose a very appropriate unveiling launch time since the holiday season is approaching in USA and markets for e-books and tablets is growing.
Both Barnes & Noble Inc. and Amazon are challenging Apple Inc. and its dominant, the much more expensive iPad for a piece of the holiday pie. According to Barnes & Noble Nook tablet comparatively offers more memory and longer battery life than its counterparts.
To attract customers to its stable, Barnes & Noble have reduced the prices of its existing e-readers. The Nook Color is now priced at $199, down from $239 and the Nook Simple Touch black-and-white reader, which has no browser, is now priced at $99, down from $139. The Nook Tablet will be in stores and shipped to customers on November 17, 2011.
Unlike Amazon, Barnes & Noble doesn’t offer streaming services, but the Nook includes pre-loaded apps from Hulu and Netflix Inc. that allow users to subscribe to stream movies and TV shows. The Nook Tablet weighs less than a pound, has a battery that enables nine hours of video watching and comes with 16 gigabytes of memory and an SD slot to add more.
Barnes & Noble, which specializes in books, introduced their first Nook tablet in 2009 and depend heavily on its e-book readers and e-bookstore. As people are changing their reading habits, the company also faces tough competition from discounters and online retailers in the market for traditional books. In the booming e-reader market Barnes & Noble has struggled to turn to profit.
The plus point for selling Nook tablet is that the company is offering free customer service at the more than 700 Barnes & Noble stores. This facility cannot be provided by Amazon for its Kindle Fire tablet. The Nook Tablet will be sold online, in Barnes & Noble stores and by a variety of other retailers, including Target, Best Buy, Staples and Fry’s in USA.
With the launch of another tablet, the market for tablet computer is hotting up. The moot question is – What is the fate of laptop computers ? Can laptop computers survive in the face of flooding of tablets, which have features compared to laptops. Manufacturers of laptops will be worried lot and they will have to think out of the box to survive in this scenario.