Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Barnes & Noble updates the Nook GlowLight

Barnes & Noble updated their Nook GlowLight e-reader and I like the throw-back design and return to physical page turning buttons (the design is a refined version of the Nook Simple Touch and Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight). The specifications, however, are disappointing - again we have another six-inch e-reader and the waterproofing has been removed. The main updates are in storage (8 GB) and Night Mode (Night Mode is similar to Kobo's 'Comfort Light' that allows the user to shift to a warmer front-light for bedtime reading). The updated Nook e-reader is a US-only device (Barnes & Noble ceased selling digital devices and content in the UK in 2016).

I predict Barnes & Noble will continue to maintain their digital division (Nook) in the long-term. This means the Nook e-reader will continue to be B&N's flagship device for its digital content. B&N does offer tablets but these are Android devices sold in partnership with Samsung that are pre-loaded with Nook apps and widgets. The $50 Nook tablet is the first Nook-branded tablet released since the Nook HD and HD+. However, it is just another regular Android tablet while previous Nook-branded devices were released with a tailor-made version of Android that integrated an app store, video store and reading content (similar to Amazon's strategy with Fire tablets). Barnes & Noble has since down-sized, scrapping their app and video store, and focused exclusively on reading the content. Len Riggio, Barnes & Noble's executive chairman, admitted that "B&N didn't have the culture or financing to compete with the likes of Amazon and Google".

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