Susan Berfield:

The Nook looked good, worked well, and sold better than Barnes & Noble expected. “There was certainly a period when Nook was a real device leader,” says Mike Shatzkin, head of Idea Logical, a consulting firm. “But it was brief.” Three months after Lynch introduced the Nook to an audience for the first time, Steve Jobs held up the iPad.

Sometimes timing is everything.

Leslie Kaufman of NYT looking at the failure of the Nook:

But while tablet sales exploded over the Christmas season, Barnes & Noble was not a beneficiary. Buyers preferred Apple devices by a long mile but then went on to buy Samsung, Amazon and Google products before those of Barnes & Noble, according to market analysis by Forrester Research.

The paragraph just before this one talks about the rave reviews the new Nook received as it went on sale. It’s a solid reminder that sometimes being good just isn’t enough.

While Amazon clearly controls the e-reader space, Barnes & Noble continues to beat them to the punch on key technologies. First, it was an Android-based color tablet. Then it was the front-lit e-ink reader.

Amazon has to react, probably faster than they’d like — they’re pushing out a new Kindle not even a year after the last one was released.

Update: As Soroush Khanlou points out, B&N did the touch e-ink reader first as well.

scifi451 asked:

What do you make of Barnes & Noble saying they're exploring spinning off its Nook division entirely.

It sounds like they’re starting to realize they’re in trouble and not sure what to do about it.

Like Borders (and Blockbuster before them), Barnes & Nobile has woken up to find themselves living in a digital world with hundred of expensive brick and mortar stores around their necks. They’re only going to get heavier.

At the same time, they’re in a bit of a Catch 22. The brick and mortar stores are probably their greatest asset for selling the Nook. But the more Nooks they sell, the more irrelevant the brick and mortar stores become.

And when they start to close those stores (which will happen), where are people going to buy the Nook? Barnesandnoble.com is not Amazon.com. That’s a huge problem.

Chris Ziegler of The Verge was finally able to clarify (via a source, presumably within Google) what Google means exactly when they give Android activation numbers. Essentially, it’s when you activate Google services on the device.

In other words, Kindle Fire, Nook, etc, don’t count as Android devices by this metric. Seems a bit odd, no? Android is an open ecosystem, but Google only counts you if use their services. 

Sure, you can argue that Google has no way of knowing the numbers for those other Android devices, but they could at least acknowledge them. It’s weird that they don’t given the millions of units this would add overall ecosystem bottom line. 

On the other hand, Google probably doesn’t like what players like Amazon are doing by forking Android. You usually don’t give your enemy a pat on the back.