Thursday, 2 November 2017

Barnes & Noble updates the Nook GlowLight

Barnes & Noble updated their Nook GlowLight e-reader and I really 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 water-proofing 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+ but, similar to the Samsung tablets, is another Android device. Previous Nook branded tablets, in contrast, 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 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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