This month, there seemed to be a good amount of back-and-forth between ereader companies with new products or services announced just as another company gains some footing. The competition in international markets continues. Waterstones, though it recently announced it would be selling Kindles this year in its stores, admitted that if other devices had the same traction in the UK as Amazon did, that it would be open to selling alternative devices as well. Meanwhile in Asia, Kobo announced its plan to release touch devices in Japan next month – unsurprising considering the company’s ownership by Rakuten.
Back on American soil, the Nook has been recognized as having surpassed the Kindle in web traffic impressions, still lagging behind the iPad, though the Apple tablet’s web traffic has decreased as well. Still, Kindle is on the prowl with rumors already swirling of a new version of the Fire to possibly be announced at the end of July, right on the heels of an expected announcement of a new $199 Google tablet. Also worth mentioning in the world of ereaders is this recent article in the Wall Street Journal, detailing how ereader capabilities are allowing for company/publisher data collection about consumer reading habits. While Amazon declined to comment on how they’re using their data collection to enhance their offerings, Barnes & Noble said that their analytics were a driving force behind “Nook Snaps,” short nonfiction works available in the Nook Bookstores.
So who is getting the last word in this ereader competition? Read on to declare your own winner.
“Earlier in the talk, [Waterstones m.d. James Daunt] said: ‘Clearly we will be selling Kindles in the autumn, which are sold by Amazon who is our deadliest foe in all other respects, hence a certain amount of disquiet among publishing colleagues and booksellers, to a much lesser degree, and the general public.’ On opting with Amazon and the Kindle, Daunt said it had been a choice between other devices ‘which have very little traction in this country’, and developing a Waterstones’ own device, which Daunt said the company had had ‘a highly limited’ chance of doing. He said: ‘Effectively we felt we had very little choice but to do this.’”
– Charlotte Williams, The Bookseller (6/6/12)
“I wouldn’t consider either of these [Kindle or Nook] tablets to be work horses; if you want to use your tablet for business, get an iPad or netbook. But for entertainment value, I’d definitely choose the Kindle Fire.”
– Cool Mom Tech (6/11/12)
“Aside from the traffic drop experienced by the iPad, the most notable finding was that the Nook had overtaken the Kindle Fire in Web traffic impressions. Compared with an earlier study of tablet traffic, the Kindle Fire maintained its 0.71 percent market share, while the Nook surged past the Kindle Fire with a 0.85 percent market share.”
– Steven Musil, CNET (6/14/12)
“Rakuten’s $315 million buyout of Kobo will bear some e-reader fruit come July. The e-tailer’s CEO and chairman, Hiroshi Mikitani, announced plans to release the Kobo eReader Touch Edition in Japan next month for 10,000 yen (on par with its $130 US sticker price).”
– Alexis Santos, Endgadget 6/22/12
“On the eve of the expected announcement of a new Google tablet that takes aim at Amazon’s Kindle Fire, a leak from within the online retailer revealed that a new version of its slate will be announced by the end of July.”
– John P. Mello Jr., PCWorld (6/26/12)