In the world of e-readers, it’s no secret which company is dominating the market. With Amazon’s Kindle line leading the pack, other e-reader manufacturers are struggling.
Barnes & Noble recently announced that the Nook’s revenue fell 50.4 percent in the last fiscal quarter. In a bid to grab some lost market share and gain traction with the Nook, Barnes & Noble CEO Michael P. Huseby explained the company plans to launch a new Nook Color. From a B&N press release:
“We remain committed to delivering world-class reading experiences to our customers through our reading centric e-Ink and color reading devices. [Barnes & Noble] is actively engaged in discussions with several world-class hardware partners related to device development as well as content packaging and distribution. As a result, we plan to launch a new NOOK color device in early fiscal 2015.”
Matt Burns at TechCrunch doesn’t think a new Nook will be enough to turn the company’s falling numbers around, and we’re inclined to agree. Recent Nooks haven’t been too exciting, and there haven’t been any new models since 2012. And, with a market flooded with affordable tablets, will consumers really want to pay for what essentially amounts to a stripped down version of a tablet that offers few additional benefits?
TechHive contacted Ross Rubin, the Principal Analyst for Reticle Research to comment on what the new Nook Color could do to stand out from the crowd. He suggested Barnes & Noble take a risk and do something its competitors haven’t tried yet.
“Perhaps more partnerships with top-tier publications, or some kind of innovative service program, much like seen from [subscription e-book service] Oyster, might provide some kind of differentiation,” he said.
One thing’s for sure: the new Nook Color will have to offer something pretty special if it’s going to stay competitive.