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« Why Advertising Could Become Amazon's Knockout Punch | Main | Social Reading is Coming. Deal with It. »

May 29, 2012


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Mike Cane

>>>B&N has contributed significantly to the commoditization of eInk readers. There's really nothing to distinguish one from the others these days.

Srsly? Nook Touch is the best one out there and can be rooted to be an Android tablet. And before you scoff at that, that's what drove NookColor sales.



I think it helps to be more specific in categorizing a company than "technology".

In my opinion, Barnes and Noble is a -hardware- company and they're darn good at it. They're good at designing it, sourcing it, demonstrating it, and distributing it. They even know how to play the patent game well. IMHO, they're out-Delling Dell.

Amazon is terrible at hardware, they have no design sense, it took them two years to figure out people like tablets, they don't even HAVE stores, and they just got dropped from Target. But as your examples demonstrate, Amazon is a good software company.

What Barnes and Noble needs to do is figure out how to make people see that hardware and software are not, and should not, be inextricably tied at the hip. Perhaps Jeff Bezos wishes they were, but they aren't.

Joe Wikert

Mike, how many people do you feel have rooted their eInk devices? My bet is it's less than 1% of the overall market. Rooting a tablet is one thing but when you root an eInk device it's not like you can magically start watching videos on it, for example; it still has all the physical limitations of every other eInk device. My point is that for the typical consumer all of these devices look and act pretty much the same.

Peter, you make a good point about the need to further refine the notion of "technology" as I've used it here. I wouldn't go so far as to say B&N is great at designing hardware and I agree with your point about Amazon on that front. But let's face it...neither of them have anywhere near the design chops Apple has. I'm not sure I'd even say Amazon is a good software company though. They're certainly better than B&N but I don't feel that sets the bar high enough.

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