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flyingtoastr
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.

[ Edited ]

bobstro wrote:

 

If B&N stressed in store value (e.g. support, sales, read-in-store) for devices sold in store, they'd enhance that value. By freeing themselves from hardware, they'd minimize inventory to get stuck with.

 


But BN does't "free themselves from hardware". They still have to specify all of the internals (which SOC, which screen, any peripherals, etc). They still have to deal with inventory issues, because it's still custom made software installed and deeply hooked into the system. They still have to make sure that the software works on the device, and provide QA and software fixes on their own. All that they gain from contracting out production of the device is an extra layer of payments they need to make to another company to handle production.

 

What you seem to be advocating is a "Facebook Home" approach to BN's NOOK - making a feature suite to install on top of other OS systems. As we've seen recently, a company with the massive marketing power of Facebook can't even pull that off. It's hard to keep compatibility across a platform as fragmented as Android for a simple app, much less an entire OS replacement.

 

The entire argument that BN should farm out hardware is predicated on the belief that they can't compete with the other hardware competitors are pushing out. But that doesn't seem to be the case in practice. The single most common comment on the NOOK tablet line has been that they have "great hardware but disappointing software/app limitations". BN already fixed the later with the addition of Google Play, and the former won't be helped by hiring another OEM to make the devices. In fact, BN is often complimented on their hardware, and there's no reason they have to give that edge up.

 

As always, I'm not arguing that BN should ignore non-NOOK devices and let the apps lie fallow - of course they need to bring up feature and UX parity.

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Ruwiten7
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.

Even if their plans change, there is NO point in purchasing one. Mine has been in their "Service Dept" for longer than even I had it. do yourself a favor, save yourself some heartache, and just don't support them; they don't support their customers so why should PAYING customers support them? Hello Kindle...
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bklvr896
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.


Ruwiten7 wrote:
Even if their plans change, there is NO point in purchasing one. Mine has been in their "Service Dept" for longer than even I had it. do yourself a favor, save yourself some heartache, and just don't support them; they don't support their customers so why should PAYING customers support them? Hello Kindle...

You are one person, your experience may or may not be representative.  I have 4 Nooks, I've purchased 2 for my mom and convinced a good friend to purchase her first one and she's subsequently purchased 2 other models.  and you know what, all 9 of them still work, one had to be replaced the day I bought it because it wouldn't turn on after it updated and the store took care of that with no issue.  The couple of times I've talked to CS, about issues with books, they've been pleasant and helpful and got the issue resolved quickly.  So there's another side to your experience.

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NookGardener
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.


BruceMcF wrote:

If you prefer the webkit engine to the chrome engine, Dolphin is an Android browser that is based on the webit engine.


This is a question. What's the difference and why should we care? (Sorry, thats sounding snarky and dont mean it to. Just dont understand.) TIA

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keriflur
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.


NookGardener wrote:

BruceMcF wrote:

If you prefer the webkit engine to the chrome engine, Dolphin is an Android browser that is based on the webit engine.


This is a question. What's the difference and why should we care? (Sorry, thats sounding snarky and dont mean it to. Just dont understand.) TIA


The behavior of the dolphin browser more closely resembles the behavior of the former default browser.

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NookGardener
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.

ok, that makes sense. thanks

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bobstro
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.

flyingtoastr wrote:

But BN does't "free themselves from hardware". They still have to specify all of the internals (which SOC, which screen, any peripherals, etc).

 

Or pick from an ever-increasing array of competitors. Why does it have to be "B&N spec" hardware? What has B&N spec'ed that wasn't soon matched or exceeded by competitors?

 

They still have to deal with inventory issues, because it's still custom made software installed and deeply hooked into the system.

 

But not as much of it. Order more as (and only if) quantities are depleted without the  backlog that they accumulated with the HD/+.

 

They still have to make sure that the software works on the device, and provide QA and software fixes on their own.

 

On a small number of devices, if even more than one, yes. They do that now, do they not? I know you want to make it out to be impossible, but Mantano Reader (and others) works very well on everything from a Motorola Phone to my aging NC to my SGT 2 7.0 and now my shiny new SG Note 10.1. Oh yeah, and an older version still works nicely on my NST.

 

All that they gain from contracting out production of the device is an extra layer of payments they need to make to another company to handle production.

 

Without all the R&D and being soley responsible for inventory, with the added advantage of being able to roll out new offerings as new devices appear with new compelling features.

 

What you seem to be advocating is a "Facebook Home" approach to BN's NOOK - making a feature suite to install on top of other OS systems. As we've seen recently, a company with the massive marketing power of Facebook can't even pull that off.

 

If you think reading is exactly the same as Facebook updates, then sure, they're exactly alike. I think the persistence of ereaders shows that people are interested, just not in sufficient numbers to support a dedicated hardware platform.

 

It's hard to keep compatibility across a platform as fragmented as Android for a simple app, much less an entire OS replacement.

 

Except for everybody that's doing it. See above. Again, certify "the NOOK experience" on approved or VAR NOOK-labeled hardware. If you want mom & dad to have the B&N handhold, get them that device. Offer the NOOK app, which B&N already does, with a common feature set but without the premium support on other devices. (No change in other words, other than making the app consistent.) Increase consumer options. 

 

The entire argument that BN should farm out hardware is predicated on the belief that they can't compete with the other hardware competitors are pushing out.

 

Hmm. Not according the what I've been reading. For years now, the common thread has been that B&N produces great hardware shackled by poor software decisions. However, the time windows have grown shorter. While the NC reigned supreme as the most affordable 7 inch tablet for a while, the newer B&N devices have far shorter windows. If B&N could do the NT onwards over again having come to their senses regarding customer app choice, it might be a different story. B&N will have shorter and shorter cycles during which they offer anything superior in terms of hardware.

 

But that doesn't seem to be the case in practice. The single most common comment on the NOOK tablet line has been that they have "great hardware but disappointing software/app limitations". BN already fixed the later with the addition of Google Play, and the former won't be helped by hiring another OEM to make the devices. In fact, BN is often complimented on their hardware, and there's no reason they have to give that edge up.

 

Had they made that decision a year ago, I might agree. Right now, they're sitting on a pile of hardware that, while it still has a nice screen, is already being surpassed. It'll be interesting to see if HD/+ sales continue to surge now that the big sale is over, or if they slow.

 

As always, I'm not arguing that BN should ignore non-NOOK devices and let the apps lie fallow - of course they need to bring up feature and UX parity.

 

 

A bit of diversity is a good thing in biology. I think B&N should think along increasing their range of options. If B&N is truly a media company, being dependent on "flagship" hardware is a problem unless they can guarantee to win the hardware battle. Doing the VAR thing with other hardware lets them keep a NOOK labeled device without having to fight in the hardware trenches.

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bobstro
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.

keriflur wrote:

[...]  I shouldn't have to spell out the impact to B&N of having the situation Google had.

 

No need, especially when we can see the impact to B&N of having the situation that B&N has.

 

So to repeat, I'm saying a value-add approach, of which Google's Nexus approach is but one (albeit a successful one), would allow B&N to keep in the hardware game while not betting everything on it. Again.

 

To put it another way: If B&N gets out of hardware completely, what then? If B&N lets the B&N developed hardware lapse, what then? I sure don't see the current crop of NOOK apps offering enough features to differentiate B&N from any other ebook seller. I don't see the NOOK community at stores having much of a future. I don't see any synergy between ebooks and stores emerging. 

 

Hey, maybe the HD/+ will take off now and break all original sales expectations with the addition of GoPS (in which case I'll really be smug). I'm a Bruins fan, so I'm up for anything after tonight. That'd be great. But it doesn't hurt to think about what-ifs. 

 

 

 

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deesy58
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.


keriflur wrote:

deesy58 wrote:

Hmm.  Didn't it make some sort of fiscal sense for a company called "Microsoft" for more than three decades?  I mean ... B&N could become a software-only company, couldn't they?

There is a bit of a difference in that B&N doesn't sell software to consumers, they sell content.  Also, different context - I'm not sure that what MS chose to do 30 years ago, when tech was in a completely different place, is relevant to the situation.  And what made sense for three decades clearly doesn't make sensee for them anymore, so...


When B&N sells a NOOK, they are selling both the hardware, and the software that runs it, along with various applications, especially an e-reader.  The fact that it is sold as a bundle is in no way an indication that they do not sell software.  They do.  And, they sell it to consumers.  I recall that the DOJ once threatened to break up IBM over the same sort of bundling with mainframe computers.  This is not new.   

 

Does B&N sell content the same way that Webster's sells their dictionary software, or that the developers of video games sell entertainment to consumers?  Sounds to me like a distinction without a difference.

 

If what made sense to Microsoft for three decades doesn't make sense anymore, then why are we still able to purchase shrink-wrapped boxes of Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Server, etc. at retail stores?  Why is it that the only computers Microsoft seems to be manufacturing and selling is the Windows 8 Tablet/Notebook?  Sounds to me like their business model hasn't changed an awful lot in 30 years . . .

 

Clearly, opportunities continue to be available for those companies that wish to produce software and content without encountering the risks associated with entering the hardware business.  Do you believe that B&N couldn't have sought out a hardware manufacturer willing to produce devices on which B&N e-books could be read?  Would Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, NEC, Fujitsu, ASUS, HP, Dell, or any number of others possibly have been interested?  Was this approach ever considered?  Just asking. 

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5ivedom
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.

This:  a company with the massive marketing power of Facebook can't even pull that off.

 

This has more to do with Facebook not making Home very good and not making the value proposition for users very good.

 

*****

 

Facebook is getting greedy. It's trying to create a bunch of Apps and use Home to take over the device completely.

 

It's LAZY strategy. Instead of the investment to do a device or a device+os to try to make a sking and steal users.

 

*****

 

B&N would specify a device and have someone else manufacture it and would do something like skin it or add its reading app as the default.

 

It would be the 'Architect' while another company builds the device.

 

Yes, what Amazon and B&N are doing by skinning Android isn't very noble. However, they make the devices so it's very different from what Facebook is trying.

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KingAl
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.


Ruwiten7 wrote:
Even if their plans change, there is NO point in purchasing one. Mine has been in their "Service Dept" for longer than even I had it. do yourself a favor, save yourself some heartache, and just don't support them; they don't support their customers so why should PAYING customers support them? Hello Kindle...

One customer's experience means nothing. You can find similar complaints on the Kindle boards (or the Apple boards, or any other electronic gadget's boards.) 

 

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bobstro
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.

Apparently, on the Nexus boards as well.  :smileyhappy: 

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LarryOnLI
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.


Ruwiten7 wrote:
Even if their plans change, there is NO point in purchasing one. Mine has been in their "Service Dept" for longer than even I had it. do yourself a favor, save yourself some heartache, and just don't support them; they don't support their customers so why should PAYING customers support them? Hello Kindle...

Does B&N have a service department?

 

As far as I know, they replace not repair.

 

This makes me doubt you even own a B&N device.

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keriflur
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.


LarryOnLI wrote:

Ruwiten7 wrote:
Even if their plans change, there is NO point in purchasing one. Mine has been in their "Service Dept" for longer than even I had it. do yourself a favor, save yourself some heartache, and just don't support them; they don't support their customers so why should PAYING customers support them? Hello Kindle...

Does B&N have a service department?

 

As far as I know, they replace not repair.

 

This makes me doubt you even own a B&N device.


Yep, and they never have the customer send in the device first, they always tell you to send your device once the replacement device arrives.

 

We seem to have an influx of nefarious posts lately.

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Omnigeek
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.


TnTexas wrote:

Mercury_Glitch: If they do any or a combo of the following maybe

 

1) all future tablets have Google Play

 

2) all future tablets are basically software from B&N and a tablet from others

 

3) Keep the prices way down

 

4) make some really huge stride in hardware that puts them way beyond what the competition can offer (not likely)

 

This is the only way I can see it being profitable for them to stay in the tablet business since the market demands more than B&N can deliver on its own. And 3 & 4 are quite iffy to me.


It's interesting you say that because #3 and #4 are what B&N has done with the Nook line.  I would say price and utility for reading and viewing media are the two main drivers despite the very vocal presence of people here on the forum wanting Google Play.  Adding the Google Play Store let me bring in a few apps that I'd gotten for my Nexus phone but really wasn't any part of the make-or-break decision for me.  Getting the HD+ for just over $200 with a much better screen than most similarly-sized or priced tablets was what finally got me to buy it.

 

Of course, we are all just individuals with our own anecdotal tales.  I'd love to see some of B&N's market research or demographic analysis of recent purchasers (non-purchasers would be nice too) to see what the real break points are for people who are likely to do business with B&N in the future (as opposed to people who just want a cheap cool tech toy).

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Mercury_Glitch
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.


Omnigeek wrote:

TnTexas wrote:

Mercury_Glitch: If they do any or a combo of the following maybe


3) Keep the prices way down

 

4) make some really huge stride in hardware that puts them way beyond what the competition can offer (not likely)

 

This is the only way I can see it being profitable for them to stay in the tablet business since the market demands more than B&N can deliver on its own. And 3 & 4 are quite iffy to me.


It's interesting you say that because #3 and #4 are what B&N has done with the Nook line.  I would say price and utility for reading and viewing media are the two main drivers despite the very vocal presence of people here on the forum wanting Google Play.  Adding the Google Play Store let me bring in a few apps that I'd gotten for my Nexus phone but really wasn't any part of the make-or-break decision for me.  Getting the HD+ for just over $200 with a much better screen than most similarly-sized or priced tablets was what finally got me to buy it.


 

 

They've put hardware out that in some areas outshines the others, the HD/+ screen is the most recent example.  However the lack of features that other tablets have that the HD start to add up.

 

Notable examples, which I know some here will disagree with, but trust me when I say these are what customers ask for

 

1) Camera.  This has got to be the most asked about feature which does not exist in the HD/+.  Most customers will shrug it off and say 'eh I don't really need another camera...' but some are the reverse and pass on the Nook because of that missing feature.

 

2) GPS, the service not the app store.  And while the addition of the Play Store adds this ability it requires WiFi.  While this hasn't been as sought after as the camera, it's been asked about enough that it's on my radar.

 

3) Computer intergration.  I know many people had issues with the HD/+ when it was first released, and it's still a question I get now of how easy is it to just tie to your computer and manipulate from there.  The HD/+ began to address this issue, but it's done so rather poorly.  Calibre shows it's entirely possible for a reasonable computer app to manage the Nook content. 

 

4) Data plans.  I'm never quite sure if people are pleased we don't offer them, or annoyed that we don't offer them.  It's very hit and miss, but it is something that's asked about.  It's also difficult to judge properly because a lot of people (a rather disturbing amount of young people at that) are totally clueless as to the difference between wifi and a data plan.  Personally I think a data plan might make sense for the HD/+ now that it has the Play Store, but even then it's questionable.  Would they sell, probably.  Would it sell enough to be profitable?  I don't know.

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BruceMcF
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.


keriflur wrote:

The main difference is that B&N cannot afford to sell at a loss.  I'm not saying the purpose is different, but that Google can afford to sell at a loss (and because of this purpose, may choose to do so), and B&N cannot.


The question is not which can sell the hardware "at a loss", but which can take a loss on the operation over a year or more to build market share ... B&N can sell the hardware at a loss, to drive follow-on sales, but only to the extent that the follow-on sales cover the loss in the medium term.

 

Which would suggest that the 2013 Xmas season tablet is likely to be a Microsoft tablet sold side by side the current Nook HD / HD+ ~ which, as mooted, are clearly a solid enough design to keep in life through the end of 2014.

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5ivedom
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.

I think it's difficult to compete with Amazon.

 

Their model seems to be to not make profits for really really long stretches.

 

Even where they get a chance to make profits they seem eager to reduce the possibility. Cloud computing is one area.

 

*******

 

I guess they just have a longer time horizon than other companies.

 

B&N definitely should not compete in the Android Space in terms of cheapest and most free apps etc. Because users who flock to that are also the ones least likely to pay in the future.

 

It should try to take on Apple and get some of Apple's customers.

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Omnigeek
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.

Mercury,

 

You said keep the prices down and make some really huge stride in hardware.

 

My point was that B&N DID keep the prices down and the hardware for the price was far and away better than comparably priced competitors.  In each instance, the Nook Color/Tablet/HD/HD+ had a better display and better or competitive memory than its similarly priced competitors as well as a generally better form factor and battery life.

 

Add a camera?  You're adding cost, complexity, weight and battery drain.  How customers did you get because of the Nook's form factor and styling versus how many you lost because it didn't have a camera?

 

Add GPS?  You're adding serious battery drain as well as cost, complexity and weight.  Again, how many people bought Nooks because of the battery life and form factor versus how many passed because it didn't have GPS?

 

I complain a little about the computer integration -- some of which is the fault of Android itself -- but that's not a hardware issue.  I wish I could create and maintain the shelves on my Nooks (NST, Color, Tablet, HD+) using a spreadsheet-like or web interface on my laptop or desktop computer rather than the horrible shelving interface on the readers themselves.  I wish I could back up my Nook settings (wifi hotspots with passwords, background, bookmarks, etc.) but again, not a hardware issue -- and it's not like any of the similarly priced competitors let me do that either.  I'll amend that:  my iPod Touch lets me back all that up to iTunes but then it doesn't let me read National Geographic.

 

Data plans cost money and adding 3G or 4G radio to the tablet adds weight, cost, complexity and drains battery life and messes with the simple clean form factor.  Again, irrelevant to my point that B&N actually DID do two of the four things you said they need to do.

Currently reading: Destiny of the Republic, The Heritage of Shannara, Lonely Planet: Melbourne & Victoria
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Mercury_Glitch
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Re: All this recent news has me reconsidering buying a Nook HD.

A camera would be fairly minimal weight gain, little power drain when not in use, and if we're talking form factor for the tablets the NC, NT, and HD+ all have an entirely cosmetic hoop in the lower corner.  The HD seems to be the only streamlined tablet device.  That said it wouldn't have been hard to work the lens in to the back of the HD/+, or in to the front for skype use.

 

I haven't had anyone say they bought the nook because of how it looked, aside from comparisons to the regular iPad, and then it's only because it fits in their hand better.

 

And while they have been ahead of the game, it hasn't been far enough for grabbing a sizable market share.  To be fair I don't think it's really possible for any company right now to do this.  As soon as one develops something inovative the others snatch the device up and reverse engineer it. 

 

I will also freely admit I'm biased against the tablet Nooks.  I think B&N dropped the ball on them and has been chasing after it for quite some time now. 

The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, and we are only the thread of the Pattern.