14 Replies Latest reply on May 3, 2012 9:08 AM by jelabarre59

    Dear Barnes & Noble

      Dear Barnes & Noble,

       

      I fear you have lost your way with the new 1.4.1 software update policy for the Nook Tablet.  You see, I very much wanted to not be one of these customers that have run out, rooted and disabled software updates just for better apps, but seeing that you have very few apps of real value to me and poorly operating versions of the ones you do have, I’ve had to join that bandwagon.

       

      I know your strategy is to build a competing application market to Android and Amazon, so that you get my book AND app business, but there may be too much already out there for those platforms and too few developers willing to write B&N Market versions to wait on.  For example, I really want an Exchange App, but the only decent one in your store is Touchdown, which has aligned itself with Amazon.  That said, the B&N version is buggy and has a really bad UI, while the Android version looks beautiful.  So unless you really just intended for me to use my NT as a really fast eReader, this arrangement just isn’t working out.

       

      Your strategy seems familiar; it reminds me of the VHS vs BetaMax battle in the 1980’s.  BetaMax was arguably a better technology and better format, but the tight technology control allowed VHS to outnumber it multiples to one.  Although it might have been better, it lost partly because it’s customer services (video offerings) were so limited they did not meet the customer’s demands.  Your new application clampdown puts you in the BetaMax camp.  It’s a shame because you used to be the other guy.

       

      Do you know why I originally picked your B&N Nook Original over Kindle?  It was because you opened up to me your book offerings in addition to libraries, lending and Google Books.  I saw Amazon as the closed content (BetaMax) provider.  You guys were VHS; you had victory in your sights!

       

      But now the NT has arrived and is a better device than the Kindle, but you have chosen to limit the app market to only a smattering of what is out there, which puts me as a customer in a real quandary.  Do I give up the promise of what I can do with my NT and not root, decide that I don’t want a BetaMax and exchange my NT for a Kindle, or go the more adventurous route of root and live off the grid?

       

      Will developers decide that they want to write and support the B&N versions of software knowing that they may make less for such a presently small market or that they may sell less if B&N charges more than the same app costs in Amazon or Android?  Eventually they may, but unless there is an even greater compelling reason for a customer to purchase a Nook over a Kindle, they won’t. 

       

      So your strategy appears to be based on selling hardware at a loss or minimal return and making up the difference by selling applications that don’t yet exist and developers don’t want to write.  I’d say the overall value proposition for a tablet versus an eReader is sliding back to Kindle.

      So, here I am, a newly rooted NT user who is really impressed with what your device can do.  I’ve been pulling for you in the past, and I’d really like to see you develop a strategy to open up the application market and differentiate yourself through better customer services (I mean, really, the local store support is usually pathetic), and superior technology.  I know you can do it, but for know, I’m off the grid.

       

      NT Customer

       

       

       

       

       

       

        • Re: Dear Barnes & Noble

          If an enhanced eReader doesn't suit your needs, just return it and get a real tablet. Seriously. This topic has been discussed to death. The decision is made, the fix is in, move on. 

           

          You'll thank me for keeping you sane - unless you actually LIKE fighting to retain root as the devs and B&N duke it out. If so, then there is nothing more to be said. It's up to you.

           

           

           

           

           

           

            • Re: Dear Barnes & Noble

              Don't give up the fight!  I am rooted and blocked OTA for now.  B&N may yet find their way and do the right thing.  If not, their greed and short-sighted decision making will ruin a great device.  

              • Re: Dear Barnes & Noble

                That would be a wonderful idea! There are only a couple of problems sweetie!!!

                 

                1. After the super calendric period of 15 days these jerks won't let you bring back the damn thing!

                 

                2. IF you cal the "help" number and ask how to return the thing after 15 days, the nice person answering from half a world away will simply read you the pre-written card with the Party Line telling you that you CAN'T take the Nook back!!!!!! NICE TAUTOLOGY!

              • Re: Dear Barnes & Noble

                the nook tablet is not a tablet is an e reader to read books basically and that's it, if you want a real tablet get the ipad and period :smileylol:

                  • Re: Dear Barnes & Noble

                    Interesting assertions, but unsupported by the facts.  If the device was not intended to be a tablet, somone picked the wrong name for it.  In fact, it is an excellent tablet if the owner is willing to put some work into changing the operating system to allow loading a broader selection of applications than available in the Nook app store.  I had considered taking mine back before the expiration of the exended return period and I have not found anything that I like better for the price.  When the developers have a version of CM9 for it, it will be one of the fastest and nicest tablets available. The software is a weak spot, the hardware is solid and competitive.  

                  • Re: Dear Barnes & Noble

                    I have got to agree. The Tablet is a great piece of hardware. The software, that limits getting apps from providers other than B&N, is the downfall.

                    • Re: Dear Barnes & Noble

                      I am another owner that did not want to root, but because of B & N policy with 1.4.1 I was forced to root to get the value of the device I paid for.  I am rooted and have OTA blocked and am one happy NT owner.  As was said earlier great hardware, just terrible software.  That problem was fixed with rooting.

                      • Re: Dear Barnes & Noble

                        Well put Elrod.  I finally availed myself of the extended holiday return policy and took mine back early in January.  I subsequently bought a refurbed Nook Color and made a CyanogenMod 7 boot microSD and now quite happy.  My wife like what I did to mine so she asked if I'd make up one for her Nook Color.  I did and have never looked back since.

                         

                        It's too bad BN does not seem to get it.  I'm sure they have convinced themselves that they totally get it, but that's why they are a distant 5th or worse in tablet sales.

                         

                        Today they released a new 8GB model, but it's the same old nonsense - walled garden & all and they are slapping themselves on the back trying to convince themselves of how superior it is.  Well it offers no redeeming qualities over and above the Kindle Fire and it comes in at the same price as a Kindle Fire.  Hey, the app store still leaves a lot to be desired and I'm being charitable with those words.

                         

                        If they want to sell these things they need to distinguish themselves from the competition not camouflage themselves as the competition.  Nothing seems to change here.  I'm going to drop off the grid for another month and a half.

                        • Re: Dear Barnes & Noble

                          Barnes and Noble is doing their best to offer apps on the Color and Tablet.

                           

                          What it appears is that a lot of people want to purchase apps from B&N's main competitors.

                           

                          Now where in the bottom line is it financially wise for B&N as a business to allow you to load competing software on their product? That makes no sense whatsoever.

                            • Re: Dear Barnes & Noble
                              kamas716

                              Temetka wrote:

                              Barnes and Noble is doing their best to offer apps on the Color and Tablet.

                               

                              What it appears is that a lot of people want to purchase apps from B&N's main competitors.

                               

                              Now where in the bottom line is it financially wise for B&N as a business to allow you to load competing software on their product? That makes no sense whatsoever.


                              I guess that comes down to why a book store wants to get into the software business in the first place. 

                               

                              Personally, if they want to put out the hardware for a good eReader I don't have a problem with that.  I don't have a problem with them putting out apps that allow people to read on various other hardware either, as it allows them to sell more eBooks.  But, I don't really understand why they want to get into selling a bunch of other apps/software.  In all fairness, I think it would probably be better for their bottom line to drop the hardware and concentrate only on developing reading apps for the various other platforms available on the market.  I think they could cut some expenses and also sell more eBooks.  Of course, if they were to start selling eBooks overseas, they they could really expand their market.  Imagine the possibilities if they got into the European Union, India or China.  Heck, just getting into Canada and Mexico would be a big deal.

                              • Re: Dear Barnes & Noble

                                Temetka wrote:

                                Barnes and Noble is doing their best to offer apps on the Color and Tablet.

                                 

                                What it appears is that a lot of people want to purchase apps from B&N's main competitors.

                                 

                                Now where in the bottom line is it financially wise for B&N as a business to allow you to load competing software on their product? That makes no sense whatsoever.


                                Sorry but I disagree with the first part.

                                 

                                Why do you think people want to purchase apps from B&N's competitors?  It's because they have a better selection!  Right now the Nook Tablet has at least two apps for making far noises and one for playing music.  What's up with that?  When the Nook was being created in some locked and guarded basement deep in an R&D lab somewhere, which capability do you think first entered the minds of the engineers?  Fart noises or music?

                                 

                                If they were "doing their best" this wouldn't be the case.  Every Thursday or Friday when they release new apps yields a couple of good, usefull titles, while the rest of the new batch is garbage.  Endless shopping list apps, ridiculous things that don't do anything at all except make your screen appear broken or wet, strobe and flashlight apps, etc...  Meanwhile the actual Android marketplace, while also offering the same useless crap, also offers loads of useful and valuable applications that Nook users are practically begging for.  That is why we want to the ability to sideload.  If B&N put a little more effort into actually listening to their user base and responding to what we're asking for, perhaps this wouldn't be the case for as many people.

                                 

                                Better yet, why can't B&N allow users to root (not that they really have a choice) their devices while ALSO providing a nice selection of apps for those who don't want to risk it?  What's so hard about that?  It's been said on these boards before, but if B&N would loosen up a little bit and allow sideloading while also providing a quality app store of it's own, this device would crush it's competition.

                                 

                                 

                                • Re: Dear Barnes & Noble
                                  bobstro

                                  Temetka wrote:

                                  [...]

                                  Now where in the bottom line is it financially wise for B&N as a business to allow you to load competing software on their product? That makes no sense whatsoever.


                                  IMO, customer satisfaction and long-term retention (repeat buyers). In the 8 months or so that I've used my NOOK devices, I've seen three usage trends:

                                   

                                  1. The first are those who are perfectly happy with their device as-is. They are satisfied with the built-in capabilies of the device, and with B&N's walled garden offerings.
                                     
                                  2. The second are the techies who want to have full control over devices they've purchased. They will probably root a device simply because they can. They want access to the full Android Market to be able to load any software their device can handle. Exploring the limits of the device is at least one of their motivators. I count myself amongst this crowd.
                                     
                                  3. The third are the group that starts out in group 1, but finds they need just a few more things. They're not necessarily technically adventurous, but they find the walled garden too confining. One needn't read these forums long to run across tales of people rooting their device out of frustration, or (sigh) paying for a pre-built N2A card because they're too timid to root or load alternative firmware onto their device, but they simply want more.

                                   

                                  Where B&N loses out are when those in groups 2 or 3 give up out of frustration with B&N and go buy another device. I suspect group 3 are more likely to just go elsewhere, since geek pride will keep some of group 2 working around limitations.

                                   

                                  Over the last 8 months, I've purchased 2 NC, 1 NT and 1 NST. I quite like the devices. If B&N allowed access to 3rd party apps, I wouldn't have rooted. I've come back to B&N's firmware, despite the availability of CyanogenMod and others on the NC. I just insist on being able to run the apps that I'm familiar with for a few functions, and have more access to content I've purchased elsewhere (e.g. Amazon's MP3 store).

                                   

                                  I can see why B&N wouldn't want me to use Amazon's store, but they simply don't offer enough to keep me in theirs. I'm happy with B&N's book selection, and my only ebook purchases to date have been through them, but for music and video, they simply aren't there yet.

                                   

                                  Through their persistent efforts to lock me in to their walled garden, B&N is alienating me. I'm currently tracking the price of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus -- now within $50 of what I paid for my original NC -- and may well make the jump to it or any capable device near the $250 mark when I jump. When that happens, I have no reason to deal with B&N any longer. Rather than buying some stuff from them (roughly $100 in ebooks and subscriptions last year), I will buy no stuff from them. As B&N improves their offerings, I'll no longer be around to know or care. B&N has lost my loyalty.

                                   

                                  If the same level of effort were being made to making the NOOK devices and Android Reader the best possible ebook reader, I'd feel differently. I am simply discouraged that lock-down seems to be their primary concern.

                                  • Re: Dear Barnes & Noble

                                    Main competitors?  Like Google?  Who created the Android OS?  Who B&N take the apps to sell on their market site? That 'main' competitor?

                                    • Re: Dear Barnes & Noble

                                      Temetka wrote:

                                      Barnes and Noble is doing their best to offer apps on the Color and Tablet.

                                       

                                      What it appears is that a lot of people want to purchase apps from B&N's main competitors.


                                      Hey, I might buy apps from B&N if they had the apps I'm looking for!!!  But no, their marketplace is filled with useless, poorly developed and overpriced.  So don't be surprised if I'd like to put somebody else's product in.  And with the lobotomized, locked down architecture, no developer is going to waste their time & money validating their apps to B&N's satisfaction simply because B&N want to be a-holes.