ENTRIES TAGGED "tablet wars"
B&N Nook HD tablets launch, with Nook Video on deck; Bjarnason argues against web-based ebook formatting; and taxes won't save journalism.
Here are a few stories from the publishing space that caught my attention this week.
B&N pursues the “low-end tablet throne”
Barnes & Noble’s new HD tablet launch was the headline news this week. Reuters reports B&N introduced a 7-inch Nook HD tablet for $199 and a 9-inch Nook HD+ tablet for $269 — a price point B&N CEO William Lynch called a “wow price point.” Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps told Reuters the devices were a big improvement over earlier iterations and that they even “one-up Amazon in some areas.”
Laura Hazard Owen took an in-depth look at the tablets over at GigaOm and outlines a few of the improved areas. First, B&N is looking to improve discoverability with the new devices and bring the tablet shopping experience a bit closer to the in-store experience. Owen reports that readers can browse the store from inside ebooks to discover additional titles by that book’s author and similar titles in the genre. B&N also is launching Nook Channels to help readers discover books that are similar to other books they’ve liked. Owen reports the channels are curated collections of books with 40 to 50 titles — many of which are curated by B&N’s in-store booksellers. There also will be a new “Your Nook Today” button on the Nook home screens, which most notably will provide book recommendations based on the device’s content.
B&N also announced plans to launch a Nook-branded video store this fall, called Nook Video. Lauren Goode at All Things Digital has the need-to-know info on the service. Goode writes that it won’t be video subscription service, but will offer rentals and download purchases for streaming, and all content will be stored in the Nook Cloud. Goode also highlighted an interesting feature regarding owned physical DVDs:
“Nook Video will also create and store digital copies of the DVDs that you normally play on UltraViolet and Blu-ray players. So if you purchase a Blu-ray or UV DVD and sync your console with your Nook Video account, it will create a digital copy in your Nook Cloud. You could then, theoretically, watch it on another gadget, via the Nook app.”
Kind of like iTunes Match for DVDs. Joe Arico at Mobiledia argues that the Nook Video announcement takes the new Nook HD tablets to the next level and fills a crucial gap in the B&N ecosystem, making B&N “much more of a legitimate contender for the mid and low-end tablet throne.”