New Nook Tablet steps into Kindle Fire territory with price

February 21, 2012

Barnes & Noble introduced its latest version of the Nook Tablet on Tuesday. The Verge reports:

Our sources were right on the money: Barnes &Noble has just announced an 8GB version of its Nook Tablet, pricing it in direct competition with the Kindle Fire at $199. The Nook Color has also been reduced in price, down to $169. The new Nook Tablet is the same Android slate as the $249 offering that's been available since November, only with its onboard storage halved to 8GB. Today's price alterations leave B&N with a portfolio starting at $99 with the Nook Simple Touch, then stepping up to $169 with the Nook Color, $199 with the Nook Tablet 8GB model, and finally $249 with the 16GB Tablet.

The new Nook’s arrival comes nearly three months after the release of the 16GB version, which has some advantages over Amazon’s tablet . Hayley Tsukayama reports:

Barnes & Noble launched the Nook Tablet late last year with 16GB of memory and a $249 price tag. The device has its advantages over the Kindle Fire — a better screen for reading, for example — but hasn’t taken off in the same way, likely because of its higher price point.

The new model of the Nook goes on sale on Barnes and Noble’s Web site today.

IN addition to providing news about its new tablet, Barnes & Noble also on Tuesday released its third-quarter results, which missed analysts’ expectations. VentureBeat.com reports:

Barnes Noble missed Wall Street expectations with its fiscal third-quarter results on Tuesday, but at least it had some positive news on deck. Not only did the company announce the $199 8GB Nook Tablet, but also its overall Nook business is up almost 40 percent from a year ago.

The company is in the midst of transforming itself from a brick-and-mortar bookseller model to one supported by hardware and digital sales. The big question on investor and consumer minds is if the company can survive in the long-term with incredibly strong competition from Amazon on all fronts. Amazon’s price-busting $199 Kindle Fire is the reason Barnes Noble launched the $199 Nook Tablet, and it will remain the primary competition for the foreseeable future.

Barnes & Noble reported that revenues were up 5% against the year-ago quarter. Net income ended up at $52 million, which is flat from last year’s earnings. Third quarter earnings per share ended up at $0.71 a share. Analysts had predicted $1.01 per share.

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