Barnes and Noble has been making dedicated e-readers since 2009 and the majority of their hardware design is done via their R&D center in Santa Clara. The original Nook e-reader was created in secret, in a tiny building that once housed the Palo Alto Bread bakery. In the last few years many customers have been abandoning the Nook ecosystem, due to a series of blunders. How can the bookseller get the back? Is it within their ability to release a true Kindle killer?
One of Barnes and Noble’s greatest strengths is that they are able to get their hardware in front of millions of people. They operate 649 retail bookstores in regional shopping malls, major strip centers and freestanding locations in 50 states. This has been one of the keys to growth, because people can come directly to them for sales and support.
The Amazon Kindle Voyage when it was released in November of 2014, was a game changer. It had the highest resolution available in an e-reader and featured dramatic new design changes. Page Press technology gave you a subtle buzz when pressed and an ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the brightness of the screen. Within six months Kobo released the Glo HD, which matches the Voyage e-reader, spec for spec.
I firmly believe that it is within Barnes and Nobles ability to release a new e-reader, that doesn’t match the Voyage hardware specs, but surpasses them. They have a new executive team, a commitment for the Nook platform to succeed and the last time they released a dedicated e-ink device was in 2013.
If I was in charge of Nook development for one single day, this is the e-reader I would mandate and the materials I would use for the ultimate Kindle Killer.
SOURCE: Michael Kozlowski