Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kindle and Nook Occupy One Branch of the Tablet Market

While the iPad dominates today’s high function space in the touch-tablet market, many newer entries are finally providing some competition.  The Motorola Xoom, the Blackberry (RIM) Playbook, and the HP TouchPad all show real potential, and others are arriving often enough to keep the space interesting.

But there’s another, more basic, tablet space that’s dominated by Amazon’s Kindle with competition from the Nook by Barnes & Noble.  This space is one that’s defined by a primary application (book reading) with a smaller number of additional applications and functions, and available at much lower prices.  These devices are evolving in functionality and in shape and size.

Rumors of Amazon developing a higher function tablet have been circulating for a month or two.  With their Kindle development experience, their relationships with book publishers and storefronts, and one-click purchasing for a faithful user community, they have a strong foundation to leverage for a commercial success.

Nook readers
Meanwhile Barnes & Noble, which already had been selling devices that were part e-book reader part junior tablet, just released a little brother to the Nook – the Nook Simple Touch Reader which is small, light and grayscale-only. 

These rumors and releases, and the increasing competition at the higher end are all signs of a maturing product space, and a broader set of choices and price points for users.

  • Do you own any of these devices?  Are you considering a purchase?
  • Would you consider owning more than one such device?
  • What are you looking for in a tablet that isn’t quite there yet?

Please post your comments here and share your thoughts.


1 comment:

  1. After staring at a backlit computer monitor all day, I love my Kindle. It aspires to be only what it is: an excellent ebook. It also is great for commuting and travel, having long battery life and being more rugged than an iPad or similar tablet.

    My family is all big readers and we've got at least four converts since I got my Kindle. It is worth paying the extra money for the 3G connection.

    Of course, I still want an iPad to sit with on the couch or to use in meetings in place of my laptop. But it would be an optional/luxury item.

    On a related note, my wife recently bought a MacBook Air and loves it. She travels a lot for work and wanted something light, reasonably robust, with a keyboard.