As Kindle Fire 2 Release Date Approaches, Why Barnes & Noble Struggles to Keep Up
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Many are wondering if Barnes & Noble can stay in the game once the Kindle Fire is released.
Barnes & Noble recently started to make headway against rival Amazon.
The bookstore retail giant recently announced that it will launch its devices, starting with the e-readers, in the U.K. in October, along with a new U.K. online storefront for the Nook digital bookstore and "partnerships with leading retailers" to sell them, according to Tech Crunch.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Barnes & Noble is partnering with Home Retail Group PLC's Argos stores, independent bookstore Foyles and academic bookseller Blackwell's.
Earlier this week, Barnes & Noble named British department-store operator John Lewis Partnership PLC as the first retailer outside the U.S. to sell the Nook, also starting in October. The retailers will initially carry the Nook Simple Touch and Nook Simply Touch with Glow Light $186.49 at Amazon Marketplace.
The move will make Barnes & Noble in direct competition with Amazon's Kindle Fire.
The first Kindle Fire has yet to launch in the U.K., but it is expected to do so this autumn.
However, according to The Telegraph, technology analysts predict that the UK release may be skip the first generation of the tablet, which has been received with mixed reviews, and fast forward straight onto the second generation of the 10-inch tablet.
According to Tech Crunch, both the Kindle Fire and Nook are built on forked versions of Google's Android OS.
Tech Crunch reported that this news comes at a time when people are scrutinizing how well the Nook line of devices is performing, questioning what sort of an impact Microsoft's $300 million investment in B&N will have longer-term.
SeekingAlpha.com reported that despite the optimism seen following the Microsoft announcement, shares have fallen since and are now trading at levels last seen in April, before the announcement.
Amazon announced that it had a deal with book retailer Waterstones that include other Kindle devices as well as e-books. Many though that B&N would partner with the U.K. bookseller, but it now promises "partnerships with leading retailers," although it didn't specify any names.
Amazon already offers its Kindle e-readers in a number of global markets, according to Tech Crunch, and in that sense this is about B&N catching up: "The first products to be available when the company begins offering its products in the UK in mid-October," it notes, "include Barnes & Noble's line of...E Ink Readers, NOOK Simple Touch and NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight."
Barnes & Nobles recently cut prices on there 7-inch Nook Color and Nook tablet products to stay competitive with Amazon's Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7.
Consumers can now pick up a Nook Color for $150, an 8GB Nook Tablet for $180 and a 16GB Tablet for only $200. The price cut is a $20 savings for the Color and the 8GB Tablet, and $50 off the 16GB Nook Tablet.
To stay in the competition, Wall Street Journal reported that Barnes & Noble recently unveiled Nook for Web, which allows readers to access full books from their computer browsers without a sign-in, Nook account or software download.
Barnes & Noble also said its fiscal first-quarter loss narrowed thanks to improved results from its consumer stores, ignited by the racy, extremely popular "Fifty Shades of Grey" erotic trilogy written by bestselling author E.L. James.
Does Barnes & Noble have what it takes to stay in the game with Amazon? Share your thoughts below!