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January 2011
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Nook Still Going Strong in Kindle vs Nook vs iPad Study

It’s gotten to the point where everybody and their grandmother, quite literally in most cases, has their own page on the Facebook, Twitter feed, or something similar these days.  You might even post to them from your Kindle from time to time.  Whole network news stories have formed based off of memes and rumors spreading across the social network giants.  We’re all aware of the pervasiveness of the phenomenon and clearly Amazon(NASDAQ:AMZN) and Barnes & Noble(NYSE:BKS) are too, given the integration into their eReaders.  So, if you want pure, unfiltered information relating to pretty much anything then it only makes sense to consider pulling the comments from these sources.  Easier said than done though, given the millions of posts being done on every topic imaginable, or none at all, on a daily basis.

In spite of this, we have Crimson Hexagon, a company that specializes in just this sort of data gathering and analysis!  Looking at relevant Twitter Tweets, and no they don’t specific how “relevant” is defined for the sake of this study, they have released a study of the comparative levels of customer satisfaction among owners of the Kindle, Nook, Nook Color, and iPad (though specifying that only tweets specifically related to the iPad’s eReader usefulness are taken into account).

The results are fairly predictable, in a way.  Kindle definitely takes the lead in terms of sheer user comment volume, having averaged approximately a thousand tweets per day against the five hundred or so for the various Nooks.  The iPad came in with the lowest numbers, but that was mainly acknowledged to be the result of culling all non-eReading related posts for the sake of the study.  Both of the Nook types, and the Kindle, had around an 80% positive reaction rate, with the iPad coming in lower due to its bulk and glossy screen as might be expected.  Users preferred the iPad for its versatility, but the displays, affordability, and convenience of the dedicated eReading devices wins out.

One of the more interesting things that comes out of this for me is the positivity of the Nook Color’s reception.  Now, I’ve recently gotten one again and this time I’m forcing myself to hold onto it to stay up to date on what it can do and how it’s holding up by comparison.  That said, I’m still distinctly unimpressed by many things about it.  The fact that this study emphasizes the fact that most Nook Color owners consider it affordable at the current price, for example, took me completely by surprise at first (I would mention library books, but let’s face it…that’s an awesome feature for the Nook that you can’t really be surprised by at this point).  I see two possible explanations.  Either owners in general have little experience with eReaders before they got this one, having put off such a purchase on the basis of “who wants a black and white screen” or something similar, or the fact that it’s basically a cheap tablet PC is boosting its reception out of the eReading community.  I’m not saying those are the only cases in which somebody can like their Nook Color, just that they seem to me like they would have to be the most prominent to see these kinda of numbers.

Still, my own possibly flawed analysis aside, it’s great to see that the Nook product line is still keeping consumer attention.  The Kindle is still the best one for me at the moment, but it would be silly to hope for a market to stay strong with only one good product being offered for it.  It would be really nice to see a hardware update to the original Nook that could give Amazon a run for their money.

3 comments to Nook Still Going Strong in Kindle vs Nook vs iPad Study

  • Nate

    The “affordable” messages may also be reflective of the refurbished Nooks B&N sold during the holidays. You could pick up a refurbished (pretty much new with a 1-year warranty) Nook WiFi/3g for 84-107 around November. I don’t know when this study was conducted, but I would guess it picked up some of that chatter. Especially if it was deal talkers blasting the deal to their friends since great online deals tend to expire quickly.

  • Marcus Sasiadek

    I was skeptical the Nookcolor would replace my E-Ink based reader, but after a few weeks of use, I ended up selling my E-Ink based reader.

    The Nookcolor excels at a few things the eInk-based readers suck at: 1) Book and magazine shopping experience is second to none 2) Reading any type of reference book where you need to skim and have random access 3) Reading magazines 4) Multi-tasking, ie quickly switching back and forth from your book to Pandora in full, glorious color 4)Web browsing

    Thanks to Barnes and Noble, the Nookcolor gets better every month with regular updates.

  • Rob

    Bought a Nook Color and I think they are pretty good for the money paid and is a better than a Kindle ir an iPad. I especially like the color LCD feature because I like to read my favorite magazines while I wait in line, wait at a doctor’s office, or anywhere else.

    I did have a hard time finding a sleeve for it. However, found a small company that makes a pretty good sleeve for this unit and sells them for only $8.95 with free freight at http://www.nuvo-tek.com.

    By the same token, if anyone knows of where I can buy a good cover (not a sleeve) that is not too expensive for the Nook Color, please let me know.


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