14 Replies Latest reply on Jan 2, 2015 12:07 PM by RHWright

    Will there be a new and improved Nook e-reader in 2015?

    LectorGS

      What do you all think?  I think it's likely.  However, I don't think it's going to be a true contender the KPW or the Auras.

        • Re: Will there be a new and improved Nook e-reader in 2015?
          keriflur

          I'm not sure if we'll see one, but if we do, I agree, I don't see it being much of a contender. I'd expect an updated entry-level device, the e-ink equivalent to the NGTS. Hopefully B&N will prove us wrong and put out a knockout device.

          • Re: Will there be a new and improved Nook e-reader in 2015?
            Froide

            Since this is how I assess the trajectory of the NOOK color tablet/ereaders to date, I'm not waiting with 'bated breath. Nonetheless, like keriflur, I'm hopeful "B&N will prove us wrong and put out a knockout device".

            • Re: Will there be a new and improved Nook e-reader in 2015?
              flyingtoastr

              It depends what you consider a "contender". Yes, the Voyage or H2O are great devices with a host of very nice features, but their pricepoints put them far outside the range of mass market devices. Remember, the Kobo Aura HD had exactly 300000 units produced (known thanks to eInk discussing the size of the production run on the Aura HD's very unique screen), and almost two years later they are *still* for sale. And, mind you, that's with Kobo selling the device in more than thirty countries, not two like BN.

               

              Amazon has also been strangely silent on sales of the Voyage. In their annual Black Friday circle jerk press release Amazon loves to brag about how well their new devices are selling. This year, there's just a generic "ereader sales are up!" blurb, with almost no mention of the Voyage at all aside from a single line lifted from a TechCrunch review. Their TV dongle gets more press than their flagship reader!

               

              I see these Cadillac ereaders and think of an actual Cadillac. Sure, everyone would love to drive home in a car with heated leather seats and a stereo system that puts IMAX theaters to shame, but when it comes down to signing on the dotted line most people will opt instead for the Nissan that serves the same purpose at a fifth of the price (with a little less style).

               

              The only way I see BN pushing out this kind of niche of a niche device that "contends" with the H20 or Voyage is if they can get it produced in a smaller run than normal (<100k) to fit with the smaller demand for these $150+ devices. Otherwise I just don't see it happening, why produce a device that sells poorly when you can make a cheaper model that will sell better. Remember, the devices are loss-leaders, they exist solely to sell content, so getting volume of sales is important.

               

              Of course, I've never felt that high end hardware is where BN should be competing with Amazon anyway. They should have been competing on experience - making synergies between the stores and the devices instead of having one at the expense of the other. But with the impending imbecilic carving up of the company there's even less of a chance of that happening now, so I'm ready to be disappointed.

              • Re: Will there be a new and improved Nook e-reader in 2015?
                LectorGS

                @Keriflur,

                 

                I agree with you 100%.  Innovation is the key word here.  However, e-readers are reaching the point of being another device or pseudo-tablet.  You mention that the "coup de grace" would be bringing to the table something that "fills a need."  What do you think that "something" could be?  I am afraid B&N will launch an e-reader that is lighter and perhaps has a better screen resolution.  I don't think they are going to add anything that would entice both current and new Nook readers/users to buy the newer device. 

                 

                As flyingtoaster stated earlier in his reply, even the Voyage, amazon's newest version of the Kindle, has not been doing well, sales wise.  I have visited, in several occasions, the Kindle forums, and it seems that the general consensus is that it's too pricey for what it does.  Some of the comments are that current users of the KPW don't feel the need to upgrade. 

                 

                This the opposite in the Nook world, where, the e-readers have not reached a point of evolution yet.  i hope to be pleasantly surprised.  In the meantime, I will continue using my three-year-old NST. 

                • Re: Will there be a new and improved Nook e-reader in 2015?
                  Sandikal

                  I'm hoping that the next generation Nook e-ink device comes out soon so I can get a great price on a Nook Glowlight.  I find the tablet devices to be too distracting, but I can't justify getting a Glowlight at the current price.

                  • Re: Will there be a new and improved Nook e-reader in 2015?
                    MacMcK1957

                    I can't help but wonder whether the most effective move might be a low-end reader, $50 range, that might attract new readers rather than people wanting to upgrade. I just below there is still a large untapped market of DTB readers.

                      • Re: Will there be a new and improved Nook e-reader in 2015?
                        keriflur

                        B&N has done the low end reader thing. The NST was $50 (or close to it) for quite a while. IMO their current reader is about as low end as they should go. Maybe it will sell better at $50? Either way, that tactic doesn't seem to growing their market much.

                         

                        Ultimately the reader is solely a vehicle to sell content. They need to figure out what their big content buyers want in a device, and offer that, before they lose those folks. Then they need to figure out how to increase the number of big content buyers.

                          • Re: Will there be a new and improved Nook e-reader in 2015?
                            bobstro

                            We may be hitting the optimum of what a "dedicated" eink reader can do hardware-wise and still be that not-a-tablet device with weeks of battery life and an outdoor readable screen. I think the Kobo H2O and Amazon Voyage are, at best, incremental improvements over a mostly successful form factor. I do hope to see improvements to screen technologies, battery life, and hey, a lower price is a good thing. Text-to-speech and maybe audiobook integration might be useful.

                             

                            Where there's loads of room for improvement and innovation is in the software. Visit any of the manufacturer's support forums and you find loads of complaints about various functionality. Rather than sinking money into R&D, put some into software improvements that make reading a pleasure, maintaining (and buying) content easy and quit worrying about "owning" the user.

                             

                            B&N obviously doesn't manufacture the NGTS. Kobo doesn't manufacture their devices. They contract with hardware firms that have the experience and scalability to put out nice devices affordably. B&N doesn't have to tool up to manufacture anything these days.

                             

                            Put out some reasonably competent hardware (again), but this time, put some serious effort into developing the software.

                            • Re: Will there be a new and improved Nook e-reader in 2015?
                              MacMcK1957

                              The current reader, with the glowlight, is priced at $99 to compete with the KPW.  Amazon still has a base-model lightless Kindle at $60.  By eliminating the base NST, B&N said they didn't even want to compete in that market, which I have to feel is a mistake.

                                • Re: Will there be a new and improved Nook e-reader in 2015?
                                  keriflur

                                  My assumption is that they weren't making any money that way. FWIW, the NGL does not compete with the KPW. Not by a long shot. It's sort of in between the kindle models - it has a higher res screen, but nowhere near as crisp and contrasty as the KPW's triton screen. It has a light, but it's got a distinct blue cast - passable, but not competing with the KPW's clear, white light. It's got more storage space, but as the user is restricted in how they use the partitions, for some folks, they'll get more books on the KPW. And on and on.

                                   

                                  It's not a flashy new feature that's needed - improve on the current features for a competitive device, downgrade the current device to an intro model (which, IMO, it already is, but price it as such), and that's all that's needed.

                                   

                                  Well, and allow sideloading of books. No matter what the device is, I'm not interested in books I can't back up or sideload.

                                • Re: Will there be a new and improved Nook e-reader in 2015?
                                  AnitaInTN

                                  For their e-ink and tablet options both - BN needs to work on the software, and, frankly, their attitude / direction.  The move to Anti-Social DRM, the deliberate torpedoing of side-loading and backup - while I do like my NC and newer Sammie Nook (SGT4N-7) - I have the advantage of having an old account for some little while yet.  (I do anticipate losing this in time, with BN's new direction.)  Anyone just getting into e-readers, someone who would get the "new and improved <sic> BN" - I cannot in good conscious recommend the Nook garden to a newbie now.  I hope BN's direction changes, I really do.  (but not holding my breath and dreading the "new" website to be rolled out 2015)

                              • Re: Will there be a new and improved Nook e-reader in 2015?
                                RHWright

                                I would love for B&N to surprise us with something new and exciting in the e-ink realm. As others have mentioned, there are only minor things to do on the hardware front.

                                 

                                B&N needs to step up in the user experience arena, IMO. (Not just in e-ink, but across the board, but the e-ink has seen a lot less love in the last 12-18 months.)

                                 

                                Things they could do to innovate:

                                 

                                • Way better shelving & library management. Like we haven't been saying this for, literally, YEARS.
                                • More promotional innovation. This is not entirely under B&N's control, but deals on multiple books from an author, completing a series, and other bundles would be nice.
                                • A more integrated device-B&M store experience. I know those who don't live near or care to go into a store could give a rat's about this type of thing, but one thing B&N still has over Am***n is their physical retail presence. The ability to shop the physical store for in-store items for shipping or pick-up would be something others can't match. Heck, even just the ability to shop non-e-books on bn.com and have them shipped would be nice.
                                • Align systems, hardware, DRM, etc. to make it easy to be the preferred device to read on; make it simple to bring my existing content to their device. Because, yeah, once I'm there, I'm more likely to just stay there and buy content at B&N.
                                • Better wishlist management. Let me sync them if I want to or not. Having to remember that they are device-specific, plus on the website is a chore.
                                • Yet, the archiving function is all or nothing, at least in the last version of the NST & Android app software.
                                • Price drop/sale alerts for items on my wish list(s). I check regularly sure, but the temptation when it is shoved in my in-box that Book X on my wishlist has dropped from $A to $B for a limited time is a much surer sale than the generic marketing emails they send out.
                                • Smarter marketing. The ship may have sailed, but at least try to push back the idea of "Kindle"=the generic of e-reader.

                                 

                                Honestly, I don't have any idea what I will do when the ol' NST finally gives out. The Voyage is tempting, as are some Kobo models. The current B&N offering is underwhelming.