Could this be where the world is heading for, as to say you pull up to the drive through window to get your lunch time meal fix and also pick up one of the new phenom’s of the computing world, a tablet? Only this time it will be a branded version if you will much as the credit card industry has moved to allow consumers to build their own card around the issuers “brand” creating that all important “pro-sumer” (producer-consumer) feeling which has grown so popular. Far-fetched you say or even a bit short of a byte minus parity?
Not so fast my skeptical friends as if we read the Barnes & Noble 8K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission the plans to do something similar have already been discussed with its investors. As on May 24th the venerable purveyor of printed publications and Amazon want-a-be , will announce what may or may not be a variation of the company’s existing e-reader, known as the “Nook”.
Ripped from the pages of the filing is the following quote which reads; “In a meeting with investor analysts on May 4, 2011, Barnes & Noble, Inc. (the ‘Company’) indicated it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011 regarding the launch of a new eReader device,“. As our only remaining “big-box” brick & mortar friends originally introduced its monochrome “Nook” e-reader late in 2009, only to be followed up by the “Nook Color” about a year later as a shot over Amazon’s bow and their still locked in “Pleasantville” color Kindle.
Here B&N also showed its true colors as the “Nook Color” was the first eReader to leap from the original designs using e-ink, like the Amazon Kindle to that of an LCD. Again beating Amazon to the punch with a one two as recently they also released a software update that brought not only Android 2.2 “Froyo”, Adobe Flash 10.1, however also a Nook-specific “app shop” to the “Nook Color”, making it into more of a “Real” tablet than just a boring e-reader. In fact even the “hacker” community has come out with published hacks to make the eReader perform as a minimalistic tablet computer.
However, because the “Nook Color” appears to be about as technologically up-to-date as it can be, it’s more than likely that the new device that will be announced on May 24 may just be an update to the original e-ink Nook which spell sure death for the product line . My hope however is that Barnes & Noble would also look at upping the abilities of the Nook Color in order to stay ahead of Amazon’s rumored tablet release for the second half of 2011 which would be a sure killer.
There has even been speculation that the new Nook Color II might come running Honeycomb (Android 3.0), putting it more on par with the Xoom tablet. As mentioned above enthusiasts on their own are aiming at bringing Honeycomb to the existing Nook Color, so it might not be so farfetched.
The point of this isn’t just B&N’s Nookie, it’s the fact that the market is not only ready however also needy of a strong showing in the tablet space to connect consumers with media as the “nuclear” family is a thing of the past. Thus those that dwell in front of what we formally knew as TV sets are not the affluent spenders companies are looking for as unfortunately the train has passed by their stop and they remain sitting on the bench with yesterday’s paper…