Survival of the Fittest: Tablet Edition

It’s surprising to think that E-Readers and tablets were popularized with the introduction of Amazon’s Kindle six years ago.  Since then Apple and Barnes & Noble, among other companies, have released their own tablet products as well as the updated software versions. This easily transportable technology allows the user to read books, watch movies, the whole shebang.  

Recently, Barnes & Noble made a surprising announcement that regarding their tablet technology.  With the purchase of a Nook HD+ tablet Barnes & Noble will give away a Nook Simple Touch E Ink reader for free.  Barnes & Noble is essentially trying to get rid of a device that was predicted to be their best seller.

E-reader sales have dropped significantly, says iSuppli.  For Barnes & Noble, sales had dropped 26% in February.  The decline in sales was blamed on high inventory charges and operating expenses.  Since these devices were produced in large amounts due to the prediction of it selling well, a large inventory built up and Barnes & Noble are now forced to “sell” the devices at a loss.

Also surprising, this announcement was made during a time when electronic devices are not expected to sell well.  It would have been much more logical for Barnes & Noble to promote this sale during times of high sales, e.g. Black Friday or Christmas season, rather than a week before the Easter holiday.

What does this mean for Barnes & Noble? If their plan does not work, they will be operating at a greater loss than before they implemented this plan. Their sales could continue to decline and they could be faced with the same fate as Borders.

For more: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/can-a-free-ereader-save-barnes-nobles-nook-business-cm230054#.UU–UBysiSp

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5 thoughts on “Survival of the Fittest: Tablet Edition

  1. Possibly the reason for downfall for the Barnes & Noble is they are trying to enter a saturated market with technology that is five years too old and are trying to make up for by giving away their best seller. This sounds like they are desperate and they have plenty of reason to be. By now customers know about or have purchased an Ipad, Kindle Fire, or a Chromebook have forgot about the nook like myself.This is partially because the power of a brand. When you think of the all the other brands you remember the high-performance multitasking tablet that can be used for reading and many other things. Meanwhile, I struggled to recognize or know anyone that owns a nook.

  2. It seems that the phrase “inventory = death” directly applies to Barns & Noble in this situation. Their nook was lost in the mix when tablets emerged into the market. The question Barnes & Noble must has now, however, is “where do we go from here?” I think that accepting the loss and moving forward is their best option. I hope, as a lover of print, that this loss will not put Barnes & Noble out of business. In my opinion, nothing is the same as sitting down with a hard copy of a book or magazine and perhaps Barnes & Noble can use their excellence in hard copy books to excel in the coming years. If not, however, they will need to think of another plan, and fast.

  3. Personally, I also don’t enjoy reading long articles or books from my iphone or an ipad. I don’t know if its simply my eyes, but I can’t do it. So I hope that Barnes & Noble figures out a way to adapt to this growing trend of e-reader use. I also had no idea that Barnes & Noble was even in the business of selling e-readers or nooks. They obviously made a big mistake entering this market when others like Apple and Kindle are dominating it. Its interesting to see how company’s make bets on whether or not a product will be a success. In this case, Barnes & Noble bet on the nook and are failing miserably in the endeavor. In order to compete in this market, Barnes & Noble will have to find a different way other than copying their competitors in order to stay pertinent.

  4. Barnes and Noble is in a tight spot. After Border’s went down, they seemed like the next domino to fall. They are competing with much stronger competition, with a better brand, and far more resources. If I were them, I would just hold on and pray for a takeover bid.

  5. In general, Barnes and Nobles is clearly hanging on to the last threads of a dying industry. Despite the number of people who enjoy reading hard-copies of book, myself included, there are just cheaper ways to buy books nowadays, such as, oh, anywhere on the internet. Barnes and Nobles just cannot compete with a retailer such as Amazon, who can afford to cut prices of all items due to not having an actual physical store. Given they haven’t been successful in selling their overpriced books or obsolete e-readers, Barnes and Nobles’ entire business strategy needs to be changed, in my opinion. Unfortunately, I cannot even think of something that they would thrive at, so maybe it ss just too late for them.

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