Though there’s still buzz about Kobo in Japan and Barnes & Noble’s announcement of a Nook for the Web that allows readers to access books and samples from a cloud system that has bookmarking and social features, much of the ereader talk this month centered around the tablet wars and the new Nexus 7. While reviews admit that the Nexus 7 is hardly going to dethrone the iPad’s position as most popular portable device, many admit that the Kindle has good reason to up its efforts to remain the champ in the inexpensive tablet arena. With the Nexus 7 citing a competitive price of $199 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, speculation has already begun as to how Amazon will respond with their next device(s) later this fall. In a recent BISG study, it was announced that ownership of Amazon’s Kindle Fire had overtaken the iPad among ebook readers for the first time. That may change soon, however, with rumors of the iPad mini, which is said to be priced significantly less than its full-sized counterpart and features a screen as thin as an iPod touch.
So how will this newcomer rank in the ereader hierarchy? Read on to decide for yourself.
“We’d say it’s about time. Although it’s almost two years late to the party, Barnes & Noble is responding to Amazon’s Kindle for the Web with Nook for Web. Much like its counterpart across the virtual aisle, the Nook web edition lets readers browse free samples and whole books entirely from a web browser while preserving the bookmarking and layout options we’ve come to know and love. Social mavens will like the options to share over Facebook and Twitter without having to leave the page, and recommendations will pop up as you shop. There’s no highlights, however, so it won’t quite replace the Nook app on your iPad just yet. Nook for Web is already ready and waiting as part of Barnes & Noble’s online store, so those who can’t be bothered with native apps can get their fix immediately.”
– Jon Fingas, Endgadget (7/1/7/2012)
“With its announcement on July 2nd, Rakuten’s Kobo Touch e-reader has already become the e-commerce site’s number one selling product, and that’s through pre-orders alone. With its 7,980 yen (approx. $100) price tag, the Kobo Touch is poised to take Japan’s already prominent e-book/reader market and crack it wide open, much in the same way Amazon’s Kindle e-reader did a few years ago in the United States. But while Amazon has already revealed their intentions to finally bring their Kindle to the Japanese market for the first time, they’re going to, and probably already are, face some difficult challenges in finding the same success they did in the U.S.”
– Adam Westlake, The Japan Daily Press (7/13/2012)
“Like a bucket of water being used to douse the Kindle’s flames, Google appears poised to reclaim any tablet ground lost since the introduction of Amazon’s forked version of Android. It may not tread a lot of new ground, but the Nexus 7 is a solid performer and easily the best tablet around for the thriftier buyer.”
–JR Bookwalter, Tech Radar (7/13/2012)
“The Kindle Fire has been seen as Amazon’s loss-leader slate, one sold at or below cost. Since the Fire funnels users to Amazon’s online stores, the retailer profits by selling (or renting) goods, services, music, movies, and TV shows to its tablet audience. But if Google and its manufacturing partner Asus can profit directly from tablet hardware sales, perhaps Amazon can as well.”
–Jeff Bertolucci, Information Week (7/13/2012)
“The company is developing a new tablet with a 7.85-inch screen that is likely to sell for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad, with its 9.7-inch display, according to several people with knowledge of the project who declined to be named discussing confidential plans. The product is expected to be announced this year.”
–Nick Wingfield and Nick Bilton, The New York Times (7/16/2012)
“Unlike last year when the Fire hit the tablet scene, however, the noise level in the market will be a lot louder. Inside the time window when the Kindle refresh will probably occur, Microsoft-branded Surface tablets will start appearing on the shelves and there’s a real possibility that Apple will introduce a smaller version of its market-leading iPad tablet. That will make it a lot harder than it was last year for Amazon to grab consumer mind share for its Kindle line.”
–John P. Mello Jr., PCWorld (7/29/2012)