Will Barnes & Noble's New Nook Mark the End of e-Readers?

Barnes & Noble is set to launch a full-color Nook that runs on Google's Android operating system. While nothing has been confirmed—at least until the company's "very special event" which we'll be covering soon—several sources have indicated the bookseller will introduce the device—one that could mark the end of e-readers as we know it.

After all, what is an e-reader? It's not a tablet. Its main function is to display simple text—books, newspapers, magazines—rather than video or games or the Web. And it must be incredibly mobile—that is, light. These features are some of the main reasons Apple's iPad hasn't quite become the Kindle- or Nook-killer many said it could be.

However, in order for the new version for the Nook to become an e-reader-killer, we must look to three central components: weight, battery life, and price. The iPad is heavy, not light enough to hold casually in one hand for an extended period of time. It is also has far less battery life than the Kindle or Nook (Steve Jobs, in its defense, argued that nobody was "going to read for 10 hours.") Most crucially, the iPad is expensive—starting at $499, compared to Amazon's and Barnes & Noble's price: around $140.

If B&N can show off a new Android-powered Nook, with as much functionality as Apple's product, at similar prices to the current version, no one will argue that it's an iPad-killer. They'll argue that it marks the death of the Kindle.

Stay tuned for more updates and pictures to come soon.

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6 Comments

  • WendroffCPA

    The writer is completely wrong in my opinion, this must be marketing. Anyone who loves books and reading and has tried the Kindle compared to other E-Readers knows the printed page emulation of the Kindle (or similar E-Readers) is a far superior technology. Looking at a screen, which the Ipad (and apparently the New Nook) is stressful to the eyes, it is not a relaxing experience. At first I was not for the Kindle, why mess with books. But it really does change the reading experience, I do love my kindle now. In my opinion, not a well researched article, typical Fast Company, fastly leaping on an incorrectly assumed trend ...

  • WendroffCPA

    The writer is completely wrong in my opinion, this must be marketing. Anyone who loves books and reading and has tried the Kindle compared to other E-Readers knows the printed page emulation of the Kindle (or similar E-Readers) is a far superior technology. Looking at a screen, which the Ipad (and apparently the New Nook) is stressful to the eyes, it is not a relaxing experience. At first I was not for the Kindle, why mess with books. But it really does change the reading experience, I do love my kindle now. In my opinion, not a well researched article, typical Fast Company, fastly leaping on an incorrectly assumed trend ...

  • Nancy

    Um. I already have an App for that. Seriously. I can read Kindle based and Nook based books. On my iPhone. It's handy, that's for sure. And the retina display on the iPhone 4 makes it easy on the eyes (less so on my older iTouch).

    When (not if) I get an iPad, I'll use the Amazon and B&N apps to read their books.

    But I'll be getting my daughter a Kindle because I'm not spending iPad money on her! I'm not that nice of a mom.

    I don't see an Android product being an ereader killer anymore than the apps on the iPhone have killed them. The readers have advantages over the phones. While my iPhone is handy and the iPad is bigger, the ereaders have their place.

    iPhones haven't killed iPods. (music on phones) Why would books on phones kill ereaders? The logic doesn't follow.

  • David Booker

    Completely wrong. I own an iPhone, and iPad and a Kindle. The reading experience on the Kindle is by far superior to that of the other two devices. Try reading on your iPad or this new Nook in bright sunlight - say on the beach or sitting by the pool. Each device has its place, but ePaper is the way to go for serious reading.

  • WendroffCPA

    Totally agreed, a color e-reader totally belies the purpose of an e-reader, which is to emulate the experience of reading the printed page. The Kindle is the best one of these I've seen, at first I was against them, but it really does change the reading experience.

  • mira elaine white

    I already have a Nook but im thrilled about the new Nook.I'm getting one of them too. I will have the best of both worlds. I don't feel cheated i've spent hours and hours reading my Nook its well worth what I paid for it. The new one will be used for many hours too. I can read one and when the battery runs out I'll switch to the other one. I love my Nook it goes every where with me. I love progress its exciting to see what they will come up with next. I'm ready for the future and the new Nook and the ones that will follow it. Yes there will be more. Progress will go on and thats a wonderful thing.