Reports of Nook's death have been greatly exaggerated
Back in July I wrote a post about the battle between Nook vs Kindle and how Amazon had carried the day. The post mentions that Barnes & Noble has given up on the idea of building Nook hardware and will either partner with a third party manufacture or just focus on apps from here on out.
Well, the only thing certain in this business is change, and it seems Barnes & Noble has had a change of heart. Nook is back!
In a press release issued earlier this week, Barnes & Noble President Michael P. Huseby stated:
"The company intends to continue to design and develop cutting-edge NOOK black and white and color devices. We will continue to offer our award-winning line of NOOK products including NOOK Simple Touch, NOOK Simple Touch with Glow Light, NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ at the best values in the marketplace. At least one new NOOK device will be released for the coming holiday season and further products are in development. All NOOK devices will continue to be backed by world-class pre- and post-sales support in Barnes & Noble stores, as well as ongoing software upgrades and improvements to the digital bookstore service."
Barnes & Noble also cut the price of the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight to $100 and until September 3 they're throwing in a $20 B&N Gift Card to sweeten the deal. That compares pretty favorably with Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite which is $139, or $119 if you want ads with your reader.
This reminds me of a Hollywood blockbuster where two warriors battle, one knocks the other down, thinks the fight is over and starts striding away, when the seemingly vanquished opponent slowly rises to his feet and starts fighting again.
It's a bold move for Barnes & Noble and I'm not sure it'll pay off. I think too many consumers have already written off the Nook brand, and this seeming reversal of policy introduces confusion into the market. For instance GigaOm covered an Investor Call which took place after the press release was issued, and titled their post Barnes & Noble totally reverses strategy in train wreck of an investor call. Ouch!
Any Nook fans reading? What do you make of all this? Can B&N fight back and get Nook revenue trending in the right direction?