1 2 First Previous 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?
        • 1. Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
          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.
          • 2. Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
            Omnigeek

            Good question.  The problem with Amiga wasn't its OS being proprietary -- MS-DOS and MacOS, it's only real competitors at the time, were also proprietary.  The problem was that Commodore didn't market it effectively.  The Amiga could and should have been perceived as the killer product if they had marketed it the way Apple marketed the original Mac.

            • 3. Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
              History shows that bad management gravitates to successful products.
              • 4. Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                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...
                • 5. 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.

                  • 6. Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                    ------------------------------------------------
                    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.
                    • 7. 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.

                      • 8. Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                        @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.
                        • 9. Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                          It think it's closer to a corvair or a edsel.
                          • 10. Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                            bobstro

                            PeterDe wrote:
                            It think it's closer to a corvair or a edsel.

                            Both of which are highly valued collector's items now. Hmm. I think I'll keep mine!

                             

                            (Just watched a parade of car classics today in Miami and saw a cherry Corvair, in fact.)

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

                              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

                               

                              • 12. Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?
                                I have to agree. Why waste money when you don't need to.
                                • 13. Re: Is the Nook the Amiga or Beta of this generation?

                                  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.

                                  • 14. 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?

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

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