Likely due to the recent release of the Nook HD, Barnes & Noble announced a price cut yesterday on both the Nook Color and Nook Tablet prior to the start of the holiday shopping season. The price of the Nook Tablet has dropped by $20 to $159 for the 8GB model and $179 for the 16GB model. In addition, the price on the Nook Color dropped from $159 to $139. Strategically, this creates a wide selection of six different Nook tablets from $99 for the Nook Simple Touch up to $269 for the 9-inch Nook HD+. Judging by the landing page for the Nook section on the Barnes & Noble site, it’s also possible that the company is attempting to sell the remaining stock of the Nook Tablet and Nook Color in order to push consumers to the popular Nook HD and Nook SimpleTouch with GlowLight models.
The Nook Color is a somewhat unique e-reader for Barnes & Noble. Last year, Amazon choose to release the first generation Kindle Fire rather than release a color version of the the standard Kindle e-reader. The Nook Color could continue to sell well at the lower price point along with the lack of competition with that specific design.
The Nook Tablet is a direct competitor to the first generation Kindle Fire. The current price point between the 8GB versions of the two devices is identical, however Amazon does not offer a 16GB version of the original Kindle Fire at this time.
The $199 8GB Nook HD is competing against other 7-inch tablets on the market including Amazon’s 16GB Kindle Fire HD and Google’s 16GB Nexus 7 at the $199 price point as well as the recently released 16GB iPad Mini at a much higher price point of $329. The 16GB version of the Nook HD is slightly more expensive at $229.
However, Barnes & Noble has a more compelling price point on the 9-inch Nook HD+ tablet at $269 for the 16GB and $299 for the 32GB model. Comparatively, Amazon’s 16GB, 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD starts at $299 and goes up to $369 for the 32GB model. Barnes & Noble is expected to officially launch the Nook HD+ tablet on November 8.
At the end of October, Barnes & Noble signed content deals with both NBC Universal and 20th Century Fox in regards to providing television shows and movies to Nook HD owners. Among other titles, this includes recent releases such as Snow White and the Huntsman, Battleship, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Ice Age: Continental Drift and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. Barnes & Noble also signed a content deal during September 2012 that brings content from HBO, Sony, Viacom and Disney to the Nook Video platform.
The new content deal with Universal and Fox also brings UltraViolet connectivity to Nook owners. By linking Ultraviolet accounts to the Nook Cloud, Nook owners will be able to watch their UltraViolet-enabled movie collection without having to repurchase content. Conceptually, Nook owners are being encouraged to purchase DVDs and Blu-rays with the UltraViolet capability at Barnes & Noble retail locations. However, a movie can be purchased at any retail location as long as the disc packaging includes the UltraViolet functionality.