28 Replies Latest reply on Jan 22, 2012 5:07 PM by DeanGibson

    Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?

      I was just conversing with my wife about great products that got beat by inferior offerings. Is our Nook going to be one of them?
        • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
          patgolfneb
          An interesting comparison. Amiga's OS was more propietary than the one used by nooks. The amiga also suffered from a lack of competitive disk drives. Amigas graphics capability was among the best available. So there are similarities, but the market is so much bigger now and nook has a niche nore like the commodre 64 than the amiga. Amiga was much more successful in europe and asia, so I would hardly call it a failure. Back then the business market ruled PCs and consumer PC market was to small to support many options.
          • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
            mbratch
            The short answer is, no it's not. The Amiga and Beta required proprietary elements, especially the Beta (need Beta format tapes, something physical). Nook Color doesn't really. It's a generic enough to run standard Android. I think what will kill the Nook Color platform is B&Ns attempting to make it just another tablet. At that point, they're now in the cut-throat world of tablets vying for the lowest price - selling soap - a commodity. The split off from the mother ship of this part of the business might finalize that move unless B&N comes up with something that adds value compared to other platforms. But I don't think they're interested in the tablet business. Maybe they don't even really have a choice...
              • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?

                mbratch wrote:
                The short answer is, no it's not. The Amiga and Beta required proprietary elements, especially the Beta (need Beta format tapes, something physical). Nook Color doesn't really. It's a generic enough to run standard Android. I think what will kill the Nook Color platform is B&Ns attempting to make it just another tablet. At that point, they're now in the cut-throat world of tablets vying for the lowest price - selling soap - a commodity. The split off from the mother ship of this part of the business might finalize that move unless B&N comes up with something that adds value compared to other platforms. But I don't think they're interested in the tablet business. Maybe they don't even really have a choice...

                I disagree. My first tablet was the NC, but I would not buy anther Nook. I don't need to spend $250 for a reader, when the simple fact is that every single Android tablet out there runs Kindle and B&N and other reader apps AND they do the market and everything else. B&N is focused too much on selling content when everyone else is selling a wide open tablet at about the same price. I know that is their intention, but eventually that will fail. The only proprietary format that has remained king of the roost has been iOS, and that is starting to change as Android apps mature and make great inroads on the iPad.  If B&N sold an open format NC or NT that could also use the enhanced B&N content, that would make everyone happy and sell tons of NC units. 
                And tons of content.

                  • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                    mbratch
                    ------------------------------------------------
                    scosgt said:

                    I disagree. My first tablet was the NC, but I would not buy anther Nook. I don't need to spend $250 for a reader, when the simple fact is that every single Android tablet out there runs Kindle and B&N and other reader apps AND they do the market and everything else. B&N is focused too much on selling content when everyone else is selling a wide open tablet at about the same price. I know that is their intention, but eventually that will fail. The only proprietary format that has remained king of the roost has been iOS, and that is starting to change as Android apps mature and make great inroads on the iPad. If B&N sold an open format NC or NT that could also use the enhanced B&N content, that would make everyone happy and sell tons of NC units. And tons of content.
                    -------------------------------------------------

                    I'm not advocating that B&N sell a proprietary HW tablet platform. I'm saying they may need to focus on the reading experience, available on tablets. As far as the HW part of the market, with all the other tablets on the market, why would you buy a B&N-made tablet even if it was "industry standard" by some measure? They would have to offer some value proposition to draw you away from the price pressures of other tablets.
                    • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                      I have to agree. Why waste money when you don't need to.
                  • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                    bobstro

                    I'd draw a parallel between the NOOKcolor and IBM XT. Not particularly new technology, but (arguably) well built and flexible enough to be adapted to a number of uses. Accepted by hobbyists and businesses. Unexpectedly open. Definitely a standard setter. Followed by the PS/2 (NOOKtablet) in a futile and ill-planned attempt to regain control, lock things down, and lock users in.

                     

                    The NC was very well executed, and (for the time) competitively priced, but with the pace of technology, I'm expecting it to be quickly surpassed by better things, not necessarily lose out to inferior ones.

                     

                    Since this is in the NC forum, I assume you meant to focus on the color. I think the NOOK ST is breaking some interesting ground in the e-ink world. I'm sure the Kindle folks feel they're the "originals" there, though.

                      • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                        mbratch
                        @bobstro, I partially agree. But, I recall when being interested in the NC a year or so ago, it was in fact about the nicest display and most robust "Android tablet" (almost) for $199. Everything else on the market was either significantly more expensive or not as nice display technology or something. Granted, out of the box, the NC isn't a vanilla Android tablet (although N2A pretty near makes it so).

                        B&N's business is selling individual rights to read copyrighted materials, not really tablets. Companies like B&N or Amazon I'm sure are willing to get razor thin margins on the HW in order to enhance their sales of these materials. As a stand-alone business, I'm not so sure it can succeed due to the price pressures they'll receive from the plethora of competition.
                          • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                            It think it's closer to a corvair or a edsel.
                            • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                              Mark_OB1

                              mbratch wrote:

                               

                              > B&N's business is selling individual rights to read copyrighted materials, not really tablets. Companies like B&N or Amazon I'm sure are willing to get razor thin margins on the HW in order to enhance their sales of these materials. As a stand-alone business, I'm not so sure it can succeed due to the price pressures they'll receive from the plethora of competition. <

                               

                              IF they were to enhance their Nook App for Android, to incorporate all the capabilities of their tablets, then they could kill their hardware sales completely.  :smileysurprised:  With the competition you refer to in hardware platforms, there'd literally be no reason for them to exist.

                               

                              However, if they were to enhance that reading-centric experience on the tablets even more (which I frankly don't think they know how to, at this point), they could make it a really premium experience, significantly superior to any other alternative.  I'm talking about starting with incorporating functionality already in existing alternative reading apps.  Then thinking outside the box, and enhancing things in unique and intriguing ways.  And keep that exclusive to the NC/NT.  

                               

                              Does anyone here really think that the reading experience on the NC/NT is already the best it could possibly be?  If it's not, then B&N's priority should be focusing on making it so (IMO).  By differentiating themselves from reading apps available on generic Android platforms, they could still do extremely well with consumers with readers, even if they DID own another tablet.  [Then instead of folks trying to get HC or ICS or CM7 on their Nooks, they'd be doing exactly the opposite... bending over backwards to try and get their unique NookReader app running on generic Android tablets.  :smileyhappy: ]

                               

                              However, if they could do so while at the same time restricting other resources... is a question that gets argued here endlessly.  :smileywink:

                               

                              - Mark

                               

                                • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                                  mbratch

                                  Mark_OB1 / scosgt - thanks, I see your points. If B&N can maintain a unique and value-added reading experience on the NC/NT that draws customers away from a more generic competition (or whatever the likes of Amazon might come up with) then it does define a market. It's not clear just yet I don't think how big that market is and whether it could sustain a whole BN tablet business. I see some posts on these forums indicating that at least some people are happy with the "generic eBook reader" experience on Android. My own experience with the NC is that whenever I play with CM7, I find that I don't spend long there before I want to go back to the standard NC user environment due to the reading and book organizing experience. All the book organizing stuff is "just software", so the secret sauce would have to be in proprietary elements in the DRM content to "enhance" it such that, combined with BN (or their tablet business) software it provides a unique, useful, and attractive user experience.

                                    • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?

                                      I've said it a number of times here and I'll say it again - BN's future is not in hardware sales.  The Nook hardware doesn't offer anything over what is available on generic tablets, and in a number of cases it is inferior.  If BN aren't going to offer advanced hardware features that improves the experience of content purchased from them (where the real money is made), then the only other reason to sell their own eReader is to control how the device can be used.  That is, keep you from using the Android Market or consuming content from your competitors on the device.  So this makes it a price battle between the BN dedicated devices and the generic tablets, and if the CES announcements have any truth to them, BN isn't going to compete agasinst a generic Android tablet that isn't locked down.

                                       

                                      No, what BN needs to do is produce eReader software that is best-of-breed bar none and will run on any tablet or mobile device.  If this can be done as an offline in-browser app using HTML5, it will allow consumption (and sales) of BN content on Android, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, devices with a single app.  It doesn't matter how many eReaders Amazon has at that point.  BN software has many more seats because their better eReading experience runs everywhere.

                                       

                                      Amiga or Beta?

                                       

                                      I had one of the first A1000's back in the 80s and the Nook device is no Amiga.  The Amigas had superior hdwe and software compared to what else was available.  As other had said, its downfall was getting that message out through proper marketing.  I don't think marketing is BN's downfall.  They have done a good job at targeting a demographic that even Amazon appears to have missed - women.  They openly admit that their target customers are women and you can see evidence of this by looking at the eMagazine sales numbers on the BN website. 

                                       

                                      To some extent, you could say that the enhanced magazines authored for the Nook Color are sort of like the Beta format.  But did BN really have these first?  The iPad had an interactive enhanced news magazine (The Daily) a year ago, months before these magazines (and the dreaded cookbook) were available on the Nook Color.  Besides, all of the enhanced magazines are now available on the iPad (Kindle Fire too?) so any advantage there is dwindling.  Perhaps BN still has the enhanced kids' books to themselves?

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                      • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                                        Mark_OB1

                                        mbratch,

                                         

                                        > My own experience with the NC is that whenever I play with CM7, I find that I don't spend long there before I want to go back to the standard NC user environment due to the reading and book organizing experience. <

                                         

                                        That's kind of my experience as well.  Though I certainly use my (rooted) NC for other things some %age of the time, and that's very important for me, I use it primarily for reading.  [I run an augmented root on my NC, which just means I've always retained access to all the stock features.  I've never blown things away and replaced them with CM7, or HC or whatever.]

                                         

                                        > All the book organizing stuff is "just software", so the secret sauce would have to be in proprietary elements in the DRM content to "enhance" it such that, combined with BN (or their tablet business) software it provides a unique, useful, and attractive user experience. <

                                         

                                        Yes, I agree the software needs to be their focus.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be.  Wouldn't it be great if they actually did provide all that you listed?   Imagine if their Shelves actually worked properly, and didn't get wiped out every time you had to reset the device as a result of some system bug they never fixed.  Or if it didn't stop working completely if you put too many books on Shelves.  Then Shelves might actually be useful, and not just a toy.

                                         

                                        Or if bookmarks and annotations actually worked well, and didn't slow things down to a crawl, and eventually make it completely impossible to open those books.  Or if their email was worth a damn, and had the basic functionality that folks here have been requesting for a long time.  Even totally trivial stuff like multiple item tagging and deletion.  Or proper sorting.  That's not exactly rocket science.  But it's beyond their capability to deliver.

                                         

                                        Or if they had a simple Backup utility, so that when you did have to reset the device, you didn't have to wait hours or days for it to all download again from their servers.  With all your B&N content (apps and books) now located in the hidden partition, it's not something that anyone can now back up for themselves.  Who at B&N thinks it's a great idea to have multiple gigabytes of crap redownloading all the time, to thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of customers?

                                         

                                        The problem is one of priorities, and it's fairly obvious where their priorities are NOT.  "Just barely good enough" seems to be their mantra, which isn't going to win them any converts.  IMO, they're doing a pretty sh!tty job on that front, and if they are so resource-constrained that they don't have the manpower to address these issues in a timely fashion (which they apparently do not), then maybe they shouldn't even be doing it at all.  The impression I have is that the number of qualified devs they have on their payroll in Palo Alto is very small, and they're being asked to do a lot.

                                         

                                        There's stuff that's been broken or sub-functional for over a year now, and there's simply no excuse for that.  Or taking a year to implement landscape mode, which they advertised when the product was first announced.  It's this kind of half-a$$sed (non)attention to detail that degrades the UX, and will kill the product in the end, when others do it better, because B&N won't be able to do it cheaper than the competition any longer.

                                         

                                        B&N has had a unique window of opportunity, but it seems to be closing rapidly, which I find very sad.  But not surprising, since I (and many others) have been anticipating it for some time.

                                         

                                        - Mark

                                         

                                • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                                  patgolfneb
                                  When I posted before I focused on hardware. If apps are the priority then the comparison is a little stronger. I believe that this is less important to BNs core buyers than active forum members. I would add my voice to those preferring the BN reader app. Compared to the stock Adobe or Google app there is a big difference.
                                    • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?

                                      Could the Nook be like the Amiga?   Possibly... Would that matter?

                                       

                                      Amiga isn't dead for example.  Commodore USA is back with http://www.amiga.com/.

                                       

                                      Active product software development and support continues from Hyperion Enternainment.   August 11, 2011 they even released their latest upgrade to 4.1 update 3 (http://hyperion-entertainment.biz/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=145:amigaos41update3&catid=36:amigaos-4x&Itemid=18)

                                       

                                      Here's their support forums.

                                      http://forum.hyperion-entertainment.biz/

                                       

                                      So if you compare, you'd be comparing a platform that for many was thought to be dead but continued to survive to "today".    This means that the Nook would survive to 2022 in comparison.

                                      • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?

                                        patgolfneb wrote:
                                        When I posted before I focused on hardware. If apps are the priority then the comparison is a little stronger. I believe that this is less important to BNs core buyers than active forum members. I would add my voice to those preferring the BN reader app. Compared to the stock Adobe or Google app there is a big difference.

                                        I concur. I bought an N2A card to turn my NC into a shinier tablet (and because I like having tech toys) and now I use it far less. I no longer feel as if I'm picking up a book substitute but a computer and it degrades my experience. I wish B&N would focus more on the READING then on the tablet competition. After all, books are what brought us to them in the first place and the books are what will keep us.

                                          • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                                            bobstro

                                            BookGirlVA wrote:
                                            I concur. I bought an N2A card to turn my NC into a shinier tablet (and because I like having tech toys) and now I use it far less. I no longer feel as if I'm picking up a book substitute but a computer and it degrades my experience. I wish B&N would focus more on the READING then on the tablet competition. After all, books are what brought us to them in the first place and the books are what will keep us.

                                            It is interesting how effective the B&N launcher is with the "reader focus". Prior to 1.4.1, I wasn't that pleased with it, but as of the latest release, the reader has become my favorite. I've tried a raft of readers, and settled on Mantano as my overall favorite. Unfortunately, it seems to have some problems with large (500+) ebook collections. I surprised myself by rolling back to B&N firmware twice now.

                                             

                                            That said, the "B&N Experience" is nothing more than a launcher shell and reader running on top of Android. Android, be it CyanogenMod or any other flavor, does not prevent the same software suite from running with identifical functionality. If B&N wanted to, they could release the very same software to run on (more-or-less) any Android device. And of course, so can the competition. It's really just a features race at this time. All the tools and technologies are in place for the "next big thing" in readers to happen on Android.

                                             

                                            B&N did an amazing job with the NOOKcolor hardware-wise as well. Though the competition is rapidly increasing, they raised the bar for functionality and quality at a (then) $250 price target. I think the NOOKtablet hit lower, mainly due to B&N insistence on lock down. As other tablets approach the same mark in terms of functionality and quality, they're going to face a lot of competition. I think their software is where they can best compete. I hope they focus on bringing the "B&N Experience" to a wider audience without necessitating the purchase of a locked down device.

                                            • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                                              Mark_OB1

                                               

                                              BookGirl commented:

                                               

                                              > I bought an N2A card to turn my NC into a shinier tablet (and because I like having tech toys) and now I use it far less. I no longer feel as if I'm picking up a book substitute but a computer and it degrades my experience. I wish B&N would focus more on the READING then on the tablet competition. After all, books are what brought us to them in the first place and the books are what will keep us. <

                                               

                                              I agree completely.   And from what they said when they intro'ed the product, that's exactly what I thought they were going to do.  Provide a solid and flexible reading-centric environment, making sure everything worked smoothly, and the UX was good.  But they have not done so.  Even after all this time, there are still way too many unresolved basic issues.

                                               

                                              I also thought they were going to have (3rd-party) developers focus on providing apps that directly supported that reading environment, activity, and orientation, by providing them with documentation and APIs to encourage that.   But they never have, even now.  :smileysad:  

                                               

                                              And I thought they wanted apps to focus on what was unique about their tablet experience (because, um, that's what they claimed).  While instead, they only opened up developer access to those with existing Android apps out in the Market, to port them over.  How such apps could possibly be "developed for, and tailored to the Nook experience" I can't fathom.  (Hint: because they couldn't.)  That part at least has now changed, from what I've been told, and other devs have been allowed in.

                                               

                                              In a race to be the best generic Android tablet, B&N will lose.  But in a race to be the best reading-centric Android-based tablet, they definitely have (had?) a shot.  There's a unique value-proposition there that still hasn't been equalled.  Yet.  

                                               

                                              That doesn't mean it couldn't be, at any time now, which concerns me.  However, it is also hopeful in the sense that someone else could come along who wasn't suffering the symptoms of CRI* that B&N is exhibiting.

                                               

                                              - Mark

                                               

                                              (*Def: CRI, Cranial-Rectal Inversion, an all too-common condition, where the head is firmly implanted up one's <deleted>.)

                                                

                                                • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                                                  orb9220

                                                  Mark_OB1 wrote:

                                                   

                                                  BookGirl commented:

                                                   

                                                  > I bought an N2A card to turn my NC into a shinier tablet (and because I like having tech toys) and now I use it far less. I no longer feel as if I'm picking up a book substitute but a computer and it degrades my experience. I wish B&N would focus more on the READING then on the tablet competition. After all, books are what brought us to them in the first place and the books are what will keep us. <

                                                   

                                                  I agree completely.   And from what they said when they intro'ed the product, that's exactly what I thought they were going to do.  Provide a solid and flexible reading-centric environment, making sure everything worked smoothly, and the UX was good.  But they have not done so.  Even after all this time, there are still way too many unresolved basic issues.

                                                   

                                                  I also thought they were going to have (3rd-party) developers focus on providing apps that directly supported that reading environment, activity, and orientation, by providing them with documentation and APIs to encourage that.   But they never have, even now.  :smileysad:  

                                                   



                                                  Yep gave you a +1 laurel nod. As also been with the nook from it's inception with the nook classic. And always waiting for those fixes for ereading.

                                                   

                                                  From inadequate Pdf handling issues like bookmarking,annotating,etc... To shelves and books organization. Needing more font choices well only took 2yrs to get more fonts.

                                                   

                                                  Basic browser that never did get updated. And their answer to fixing the pdf issue? Just buy an app as we let 3rd party fix our failings for us.

                                                   

                                                  So like others rolled my own N2A card and now have the choices I need to customize my reading in a way for me. And choices in pdf,email and the fantastic Dolphin HD browser apps adds joy and pleasure in using the Nook Color again.

                                                   

                                                  I wasted a year always waiting for B&N and living with it's closed mouth,no words wait to you get the update to be disappointed again and again.

                                                   

                                                  It's a great device and if it fucntions as default stock to your expectations. Then great and hope it serves you well.

                                                  For me it was the attitude of B&N customer support that turned me off. Not the device itself.

                                                  .

                                                  • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                                                    DeanGibson

                                                    Mark_OB1 wrote: ...

                                                     

                                                    In a race to be the best generic Android tablet, B&N will lose.  But in a race to be the best reading-centric Android-based tablet, they definitely have (had?) a shot. ... That doesn't mean it couldn't be, at any time now, which concerns me.


                                                    Once anyone brings out a tablet that is not a fully capable tablet, there will always be complaints.  The only reason we are not seeing the continual complaints in the Nook Color forums about what is "missing" from the NC, is that they have seen the NT and realize how "lucky" they are (mainly, side-booting and its positive consequences).

                                                     

                                                    While there will always be someone that wants more (I would like for the NT to have BlueTooth enabled, and a GPS, for example), the issue for any half-tablet-producing company is to manage expectations (and hence loyalty).  I have pretty much given up on B&N as far as useful future products for me;  for my needs, I think that is the best attitude.

                                                     

                                                    I have a friend that talks about the wisdom of having "hope in one hand ..." (which I won't complete here).  The sad fact is, B&N had a real chance to capture (or retain) the loyalty of its Nook customers with the NT, and I think they have failed, even among their target market.  The direction toward locked-down products is clear in not only the NT, but the NST (nicer, but less capable).  Everyone now knows that in order to get the product enhancements they, they will probably need to change brands.  Now, I may be pleasantly surprised.  However, I'm not hopeful.

                                              • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                                                patgolfneb
                                                Sorry, yes my rebuke was aimed at scogt. A new poster, only two posts had supported my belief that BN reader app is a plus. I felt. that the tone of scogt's response was over the top. It becomes tiresome to have some of those who are the most tech savy, put down and lecture others how they cannot believe we accept stock uses or limited app access. What are we supposed to do, post educational achievements, awards, act, sat, iq scores? I have them, but know how poorly they measure real intelligence and talent. Some of the poorest reasoning I have ever witnessed was at mensa events. This need to cast every BN action as greed or worse seems almost irrational. There are plenty of business practices that are worthy of criticism, but perspective, fairness and recognition of businesses needs hopefully is part of the mix also.
                                                • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                                                  patgolfneb
                                                  In some ways cell phones and smart phones are better example. Carriers sell custom version's of manufacturers phones at subsidized prices. If you buy a feature phone, maybe the equivalent of a simple touch, fewer features, no data plan, with a contract it is free or nearly free? If you buy a smart phone, again depending on the features, you pay more and must pay for a data plan. This might be the NC or NT. You must buy your minutes and data through them. Unlocked phones cost more. As newer models with updated features appear older ones are discounted. No one gives you their latest and best products at the lowest price. The selling price is based on device cost, how much revenue they expect and demand. The content, network, services, customer service factor in to our purchasing decision. By scosgt's reasoning all phones should be free, unlocked, with no contract with access to any carriers service. Both phones and tablets are available that way, usually with a significant price premium.
                                                    • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?

                                                      patgolfneb wrote:
                                                      In some ways cell phones and smart phones are better example. Carriers sell custom version's of manufacturers phones at subsidized prices. If you buy a feature phone, maybe the equivalent of a simple touch, fewer features, no data plan, with a contract it is free or nearly free? If you buy a smart phone, again depending on the features, you pay more and must pay for a data plan. This might be the NC or NT. You must buy your minutes and data through them. Unlocked phones cost more. As newer models with updated features appear older ones are discounted. No one gives you their latest and best products at the lowest price. The selling price is based on device cost, how much revenue they expect and demand. The content, network, services, customer service factor in to our purchasing decision. By scosgt's reasoning all phones should be free, unlocked, with no contract with access to any carriers service. Both phones and tablets are available that way, usually with a significant price premium.


                                                      The difference is that no one sells an unlocked contract free iPhone for the same price as the carriers. If they did, no one would ever buy a contract unless it was cut rate. So lets call that price fixing for our purposes. But I can buy a real Android Gingerbread or Honeycomb tablet for the same or less money than a NT and still do everything that the NT does (although you would argue that the NT does "some" things better).

                                                    • Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                                                      patgolfneb
                                                      Scosgt, yes I would assert that for the features I value most, screen quality, reader app, build quality, esthetics, at the time I bought it, no competitor offered an equivalent product for the price. That is what choice in the marketplace is all about. As Dean posted newer devices are appearing and prices are moving lower. Things will evolve and next time I might make a different choice. Your assertion doesn't really invalidate my comparison because I made clear that this is a fluid dynamic process where new products appear and older products are discounted or discontinued. Just as the NC has a lower price now than one year ago. Each purchase decision is made at a specific point in time and one size does not fit all.
                                                        • Subsidized, or just cheap?
                                                          bobstro

                                                          I don't think the comparison to cell carrier subsidized phones holds up. 

                                                           

                                                          In the case of cell phones, you get the phone you want at a price you can afford when you sign up for a multi-year commitment with their service. You get a nice toy, and they get some guaranteed return on their multi-million dollar investment in cellular infrastructure.

                                                           

                                                          In the case of the NOOK, you get a nice device at a (then) competitive price, and B&N tries to lock you into buying certain content only from them. You're not getting the device for cheap or free, although the NC was undenably competitive when first released. You're not tied to a montly payment, but they'd sure like you to shop exclusively at their shop.

                                                           

                                                          I think a better comparison is an overpriced buyer's club membership with no real discount in the store and very little selection to chose from app-wise.

                                                           

                                                          Amazon takes this to another extreme with their Prime membership, but don't suffer the Soviet-style empty (app) store shelves. Prime also gives you other benefits beyond the device.

                                                           

                                                          Oddly, B&N allow you the option of loading 3rd party content where they are strongest (ebooks), yet limit you in loading other 3rd party content where they are weakest (apps).

                                                           

                                                           

                                                            • Re: Subsidized, or just cheap?
                                                              Omnigeek

                                                              bobstro wrote:

                                                               

                                                              Oddly, B&N allow you the option of loading 3rd party content where they are strongest (ebooks), yet limit you in loading other 3rd party content where they are weakest (apps).

                                                               

                                                               



                                                              And that's one thing I'll agree with you on in this debate.  It IS odd and I do think they need to do more with apps -- I just get irked by the entitlement mentality that popped up as well as some of the misstatement of facts about what B&N promised or sold.