In the first quarter of this year around 1.4 million electronic readers were sold and 53% of them were Nooks. This is great news for Barnes and Noble which really has stepped up their advertising campaign with both a new TV Commercial debuting on national television last week. They are following up to their television advert with both a print and online campaign to promote the Nook and the new features it offers.
Target, the discount retailer, announced this week that it would start selling Kindles at some of its stores at the end of this month, the first time the e-reader has been on sale in a physical store. Best Buy, the largest US consumer electronics retailer, sells rival e-readers by Barnes & Noble, the bookseller, and Sony.
With the latest Nook firmware update, we saw not only a new web browser unleashed, but games and faster page turns. They also announced two new e-readers towards the end of the year, the Nook 2 and Nook-Lite.
Despite the fact that more people are buying nooks over Kindles, Amazon saw record profits on quarterly earnings. Amazon saw the largest sales boost in its catch-all category of electronics and general merchandise, which grew 72%, underscoring the fact that the online retailer is becoming more than just a books and media retailer. This was also the first full quarter to reflect Amazon’s acquisitions of shoe and apparel retailer Zappos. The company didn’t break out details on its impact.
Amazon said Kindle sales remained “very strong,” and that it now had 500,000 e-books for sale. With this earnings release, the company also changed the way it accounts for the Kindle, booking the full revenue from each device sold instead of amortizing it over several quarters.
Amazon sales in the first quarter were not affected dramatically by the launch of the Apple iPad but may see decreases in Kindle sales as people upgrade to the latest Apple offering.
Industry experts are predicting over eleven million electronic readers to be sold in 2010 and Amazon speculates that they can sell 7 million Kindles.
Even though the numbers of the industry analysts are not making complete sense. We can foresee a record year in electronic reader sales, as the Asian markets are launching new e-readers by BENQ.
Barnes and Noble may be the clear winner of the first quarter of this year, they have their work cut out for them, as Amazon is going to be releasing a SDK that allows developers to make applications for the Kindle, and by the summer time we should see a new web browser as well Barnes and Noble is banking allot on its games and applications and new e-readers its releasing towards the end of the year to boost its own profit margins.
Not only is Barnes and Noble competition against Amazon in the E-Reader market in North America, many new companies are releasing electronic readers this year, such as Spring Design, Fujitsu, Skiff, Plastic Logic, and many more.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.