e-Reader & Tablet evolution


Target to Sell Google e-Reader, Amazon to Launch Tablet 07-14-2011


The e-reader and tablet computer categories are in the process of getting more competitive based on recent announcements and reporting.

Earlier this week, Target announced it would be the exclusive retailer of the iriver Story HD, the first e-reader fully integrated with Google’s eBooks. The device, priced at $139.99 (five percent less for guests purchasing with their REDcards), provides access to Google’s library of more than three million free e-books as well as its catalog of titles for purchase. Consumers may also trade-in electronic devices for further credit toward the purchase price.

“Target strives to provide guests with exclusive access to the most innovative new products, and the iriver Story HD is no exception,” said Nik Nayar, vice president of merchandising, Target, in a press release. “With the rapid advancements of e-readers and tablets, the iriver Story HD’s superior features and integration with Google eBooks sets it apart.”

Target’s announcement comes on the heels of a report by IDC that said Barnes & Noble’s Color Nook had taken the top spot in the e-reader category during the first quarter.

“Amazon’s Kindle was second, but the lack of a color offering has clearly impacted the company’s previous dominance in the eReader market,” wrote IDC as quoted by Reuters.

Target also sells the Kindle along with other e-readers from Sony, Kobo, Pandigital and Aluratek. The chain also sells Apple’s iPad tablet device.

On the tablet front, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon.com will launch a rival device to the iPad in October.

Citing unnamed sources “familiar with the matter,” the Amazon device will have a screen around nine inches and run on Google’s Android platform.

Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst with Forrester Research, believes Amazon is best positioned to compete with Apple and is likely to develop a device that will sacrifice features to offer a lower-priced alternative to the popular iPad. The new unit, unlike Apple’s product, is said to come without a camera.

Discussion questions:  What is your current take on the e-reader and tablet device markets? Will Kindle continue to lose share in the e-reader category? Will lower priced alternatives pose the biggest threat to Apple’s iPad going forward?

My post:

Like the iPhone, Apple’s design edge and first-to-market consistency has held the iPad iPad2 ahead of the pack, at least for those with fewer budget limitations. However, there is a clearly building market for lower cost alternatives of both pure readers and fuller functioning tablets. I’m betting on Apple remaining ahead in the more lucrative premium market and for several others to fight it out in the less profitable low cost arena. I’ll continue to enjoy my iPad2–with the Kindle App loaded on for my e-book reading pleasure.

Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! ™ strategist


What do you think?  Please add your comments and add to the discussion!

Go to the full article at Retailwire.com:  Target to sell Google e-Reader


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