Barnes & Noble new Color Nook: Could it compete with the Kindle Fire?

The bookseller may be announcing a Nook device intended go head to head with the Kindle Fire – if such a thing is possible.

Staples, Inc./Business Wire
Tech experts say any update to the Barnes & Noble Nook Color, pictured, will need a price that can compete with the Kindle Fire and an answer to the Apple and Amazon apps.

Many are speculating that the Barnes & Noble event scheduled for Monday, Nov. 7, will be the announcement of a new Nook model, possibly an update of the Nook Color. The question is: With Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the Kobo Vox tablet both scheduled for release over the next weeks, will a new Nook device be able to catch consumers’ attention?

It’ll have to come in with important new features to divert the market away from the Kindle Fire and the still-dominant iPad. Jared Newman of PC World says one of the most important factors in a Kindle Fire-new Nook battle would be a competitive price from the new Nook.

“It's a given that Barnes & Noble's next tablet must match the Kindle Fire on price,” Newman writes on PC World. “Failing that, it'll have to offer a larger tablet – with a 10-inch screen, for instance – to attract consumers who are turned off by the Kindle Fire's smaller screen.”Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, also told Computer World that “availability of content” would be a big factor in enabling a new Nook to measure up to the Kindle Fire. Newman suggested that Barnes & Noble could make a deal with Netflix to have streaming content that could compare with Amazon Prime’s instant videos that offer movies and TV shows.

Newman also says Barnes & Noble will need an answer to the apps that are such an integral part of the iPad and that are featured as Appstore for Android on Amazon.

“To stay competitive, Barnes & Noble must bring more apps to its platform,” he wrote. “If that's not possible, the company must find some other way to stand out without a huge app library.”

Others suggest that on the tech side of things, Barnes & Noble may be announcing a new tablet that offers a quad-core processor, which would give it unrivaled speed for accessing programs and operating Flash. But Bob O'Donnell, an IDC analyst, told Computer World that it’s not yet certain that a tablet that wasn’t running the new 4.0 Android version would even be able to use the speed of a quad-core chip.

Either way, the Kindle Fire's Nov. 15 release date is coming up fast.

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

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