Battle of the Brands: A Sack of Coal for Amazon this Holiday Season?

Last week, Barnes & Nobles announced The Nook, a device the company claims to be “the world’s most advanced eBook reader.”  Priced at $259 – the same price as the latest edition of The Kindle– The Nook is a clear competitor and has industry experts already anticipating that consumers will ditch their Kindle this holiday season for the new and shiny Nook.

Alen Weiner, industry analyst for Gartner wrote in his blog, “Anyway you slice Barnes and Noble’s announcement, The Nook is a game changer for the current market and one that will force Amazon’s hand even with Amazon’s recent release of an international Kindle.”
With both The Nook and The Kindle backed by super brands like Barnes & Nobles and Amazon, the competition will most likely come down to whichever one has better technology and feature sets, since both devices are priced the same.  The article, “B&N's Nook Is A Kindle Killer: 5 Reasons Why” on PCWorld.com lists five reasons why The Nook is superior to the Kindle, and even includes a bonus reason being that The Nook is an Android device.

The New York Times article, “A New Electronic Reader, the Nook, Enters the Market,” highlights two differentiating factors of The Nook – the ability for customers to “lend” books to friends and the ability for Nook owners to read any e-book through streaming software while in the store.

Though the overwhelming sentiment online is that The Nook will “kill” The Kindle sales this holiday season, The Kindle still is the first, dominating e-reader to come out onto the market and in 2008, Amazon sold 500,000 Kindles (according to Mark Mahaney of Citigroup), so the company has had time to build up of a loyal fan-base.

Which eBook reader will you purchase this holiday season – the one with an established fan-base, or the shiny new one?

- Contributed by Chantal LeBoulch.  Follow her @cleboulch

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