If a generous friend or family member has Nook waiting under the tree for you this year, you’re far from the only one. Barnes & Noble is expected to have shipped approximately 60,000 of their new eReaders before the year is out; not bad considering the shortage. We can only guess how many they could have sold if they had instructed their manufacturing partner, Foxconn, to build more of the gadgets out of the gate.
Barnes & Noble has pushed back preorders several times, and is now offering a $100 gift cards if preordered Nooks don’t ship by today (December 23). After the fiasco the holiday buying season has been, B&N is directing Foxconn to increase production. The bookseller claims Nook sales could hit 500,000 in 2010. The original Kindle only sold 400,000 in its first year. Though, admittedly that was before the large second generation price drops.
One has to wonder if people will still be buying Nooks at this rate when there are units readily available in stores for people to use. The software experience is reportedly a bit buggy and page refreshes are slow. If Barnes and Noble can work out these problems, the Kindle may have something to fear from the Nook. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see.
There’s two ways to consider the firmware update for Barnes & Noble’s Nook. It’s either a step in the right direction. Or it’s a step in no direction at all.
Wired is reporting that the much needed update improves on some of the Nook’s less desirable features. According to Wired, the update “...attempts to fix some of these problems. The update improves the start-up time for features such as ‘My Library’ on the device. It also ensures that the device displays the correct time on its status bar, has better page numbering for books and removes some formatting-related issues.”
The keyword in Wired’s assessment might be “attempts.” Mark Wilson, at Gizmodo, says he doesn’t see any changes from the update. He reports that loading a new book and turning pages is still slow. And a bug in the highlights-and-notes feature appears unrepaired.
If you are a Nook owner, you’ll soon get to see for yourself. Barnes & Noble has started the process of updating Nooks from 1.0.0 to 1.1.0, so expect to see it soon.
Barnes & Noble has been criticized for seemingly rushing to market its Nook e-book reader before manufacturing could churn out enough units to satisfy demand, and already B&N has pushed back its anticipated preorder ship date several times. According to The New York Times, however, availability is the least of the Nook's problems.
The media behemoth posted a review of the Nook on Wednesday and summarily ripped it apart. Speaking of which, the review starts out by accusing the Nook of being "ripped right out of the Kindle's master playbook," noting the same price tag, same off-white plastic frame, the same screen saver, and other similarities. Given the popularity of Amazon's Kindle, this wouldn't be a bad thing, but NYT goes on to thrash the differences between the two units as pointed out by the Nook website.
"Unfortunately, we, the salivating public, might be afflicted with a little holiday disease of our own: Sucker Syndrome," NYT writes. "Every one of the Nook's vaunted distinctions comes fraught with buzz kill footnotes."
For example, NYT points out tht the color touchscreen is just a horizontal strip that, at times, "feels completely, awkwardly disconnected from what it's supposed to control on the big screen above." And of the over one million titles B&N advertises, NYT claims that "well over half of those are junky Google scans" of out of copyright books filled with typos. Then there's the slow performance, quirky Wi-Fi, and unfinished features. Ouch.
And all that's just part of what NYT had to say. Read the entire unflattering review here.
Is NYT's review being too harsh on the Nook, or will it make you think twice about which e-book reader to buy? Hit the jump and sound off.
We're getting just as tired of reporting on Barnes & Noble's continued delays of its Nook e-book reader are you are of reading about them, so imagine how those who prepaid for the digital reader must feel. Unfortunately, the backorder blues continue, and now B&N is saying that Nooks ordered after November 20th won't ship out until January 11th.
That's a week later than the January 4th date B&N was quoting yesterday afternoon, even as the company hijacks its own shipments to high-volume stores in order to fulfill preorders that a company spokesperson admitted exceeded expectations. Some B&N stores won't have any in-store Nooks until mid-December, if at all.
For those who were quick-triggered (and lucky) enough to place their preorders before November 20th, B&N says those will still ship in time for Christmas. For everyone else, let the waiting game being, although the company is offering to send out a Nook holiday certificate free of charge, so you'll still have something to put under the Christmas tree.
Barnes & Noble's shortage of Nook e-book readers may be more serious than initially thought, and that could mean bad news for customers hoping to purchase a Nook in-store in time anytime soon. In order to deliver preordered devices to consumers before the holidays, the company on Sunday said it will delay shipments of its Nook e-reader to stores.
"We expect to have them in our highest-volume stores on December 7th and in a very limited number," Barnes & Noble spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating said, according to Reuters.
Barnes & Noble originally hoped to have a limited number of Nooks in some of its stores by November 30, but that no longer appears likely to happen. High demand caused the company to sell out of its newly launched e-reader earlier in the month, a situation some analysts say may end up helping sales of Amazon's Kindle.
Amazon has added a native PDF reader to its Kindle 2 e-reader, making it only the second device in the Kindle family to boast this feature. The Seattle-based company also announced a much enhanced battery life for the Kindle 2. The longer battery life, it says, is the fruit of a six-month-long firmware improvement program.
According to Amazon, it has managed to extend the Kindle's battery life by 85 percent, which translates to seven days on a single charge with wireless turned on. But apparently Amazon's firmware improvement program failed to yield any such improvements in battery performance when the wireless is turned off. These enhancements will be delivered to existing Kindle owners as part of a firmware update. Some earlier versions of the device will also be receiving native PDF supports via Whispernet wireless.
Barnes and Noble is facing an enviable predicament, that of failing to keep the Nook in stock. But Amazon made it very clear in a press release that the “Kindle is in stock and available for immediate shipment today.”
Get ready for a blue Christmas if the only thing you asked for this holiday season was a Nook e-book reader. The device's popularity apparently caught Barnes and Noble off guard, who has sold out of the its initial supply and said preorders have exceeded expectations.
And if you listed Sony's Digital Edition Reader as your backup gift request, then it's a double dose of 'bah, humbug' coming your way. It too is in short supply, and Sony said it could not guarantee it would have enough to fulfill demand in time for Christmas.
The situation isn't dissimilar from what Amazon went through last year with its Kindle e-book reader, although the current king of the hill has managed to get its distribution channel squared away since then. So why are Sony and Barnes and Noble struggling?
"Even without specific problems in the supply chain, the manufacturing process takes time for new products -- it could be 3 months from the time they place the orders with their factories until they actually ship," Sarah Epss, an analyst at Forrester Research, said in an email. "Sony and B&N wanted to show the market they could compete with Amazon for the holiday season. Consumers responded enthusiastically, but unfortunately, these companies are struggling to deliver on their promise. Now they have to face disappointed consumers with empty packages under the tree."
According to Epps, both companies jumped the gun on their products announcements because neither was truly ready for the holiday shopping season.
If the Barnes and Noble Nook sounds like a great Christmas present, you might want to preorder one now. Everyone’s favorite bookseller has announced that due to massive demand, Nook preorders have been pushed into December. There are also reports that Barnes and Noble stores will have no in-store Nooks until mid December.
According to a Barnes and Noble spokesperson, “Nook has quickly become the fastest selling product at Barnes & Noble. In fact, there is so much consumer interest in Nook, that pre-orders have exceeded our expectations." The Nook will be selling for $259 whenever you can find one. Barnes and Noble opened their eBook store back in July and it currently offers over 700,000 titles.
The Nook will be going up against Amazon’s Kindle reader. B&N is hoping to leverage their brick and mortar stores to gain an advantage over the all online Amazon. Are you considering getting an ebook reader this holiday season?
The Nook is off to a rough start. Spring Design has sued Barnes & Noble over what it alleges are the misappropriation of trade secrets and the violation of a non-disclosure agreement. Spring Design is claiming that pirated design features from its dual-screen Alex eReader, incorporating them in to Barnes & Noble’s Nook eReader.
The point of contention for Spring Design is something it calls the Duet Navigator. This design feature consists of a gray-scale upper screen for reading text, and a lower color screen for navigation. Interestingly, the Nook possesses the same basic design feature. Spring Design says it started filing patents on the Alex back in 2006. (The patent on the Duet Navigator is still pending.) Barnes & Noble apparently co-opted the ideas while working with Spring Design earlier this year.
Darren Murph, over at Engadget, made the early call on this: “Judging by the hastily prepared web site coincidentally appearing on the eve of the B&N device launch, and the domain’s registrar, Albert Teng, who has numerous patent applications (not patents granted) covering ‘electronic devices having complementary dual-displays,’ we’d say this announcement is quite possibly a desperate attempt to lay claim on intellectual property rights instead of a real product with real manufacturers and real content partners.”