Nook Tablet Not Selling Very Well Compared to Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire vs Nook Tablet

Barnes and Noble hasn’t released any actual sales figures for the Nook Tablet, and neither has Amazon for the Kindle Fire, but if you look closely at some of the signs it becomes clear that the Nook Tablet isn’t selling nearly as well as the Kindle Fire.

Since I don’t have access to any hard proof, I’ll show you the evidence that suggests Nook Tablet sales aren’t very good. Here are three things to consider…

The first sign that the Nook Tablet isn’t selling well: This past Thursday the Nook Tablet was the Daily Deal on eBay. It was selling for the lowest price ever at $199. Daily Deals are only supposed to last for 1 day, but it’s 4 days later and the Nook Tablet is still $199 on eBay.

They probably had a set amount they could sell at that price and they still haven’t reached it so the deal continues. The first page they had deal on sold 770 units and the current page is at 2,605 sold.

Averaging about 1,000 units per day may sound good at first glance, but it most certainly is not, especially when you consider this is the lowest price the Nook Tablet has ever sold for. And then there’s the fact that this deal has gotten plenty of news coverage through a lot of major websites.

We don’t have any comparable Kindle Fire sales figures to contrast with that, but consider this: Analysts estimate Amazon sold approximately 3.9 million Kindle Fires in 2011. And since the Kindle Fire was released in the middle of November it was only out for about 48 days. That equates to Amazon selling about 81,250 Kindle Fires per day in 2011!

Granted that’s during the busy holiday season, but it still illustrates just how pathetic 1,000 Nook Tablet units per day is at their lowest price ever.

The second sign the Nook Tablet isn’t selling as well as the Kindle Fire: Since we don’t have access to the sales numbers, let’s compare the number of reviews for each device. Right now at Amazon the Kindle Fire has 14,166 reviews.

At B&N, the Nook Tablet has 1,109 reviews, less than 10 percent that of the Kindle Fire. Granted this comparison is flawed in some ways—people are more likely to leave reviews at Amazon than B&N—but it still provides some insight into which one is selling better, especially since they were both released at the exact same time.

The third sign the Nook Tablet isn’t selling as well as the Kindle Fire: Using Google’s Insights for Search tool, you can see how much more search volume there is for the Kindle Fire over the Nook Tablet. There are a lot more people running searches related to the Kindle Fire than the Nook Tablet.

It also shows there are a number of people searching for something called a Nook Fire. I don’t know where to pick up one of those but I’ll keep my eyes open :).

Conclusion: All signs point to Amazon selling way more Kindle Fires than Barnes and Noble is selling Nook Tablets. But we don’t have any proof and likely never will. Given the fact the two devices are so much alike and offer a lot of the same features, it makes one wonder what it is about the Kindle Fire that draws more people in. Is it the simple fact that the Kindle Fire costs $50 less? Or is it because it has Amazon’s name on it and Amazon’s services tied to it? Is it because the Nook Tablet is locked into B&N for content where the Kindle Fire is open to sideloading?

If someone were to give you one or the other for free, which would you choose? The Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet.

16 Responses to “Nook Tablet Not Selling Very Well Compared to Kindle Fire”

  1. If someone where to give me one for free I would want them to choose which one for me!

  2. I bought NT (Nook Tablet); loved it in everyday UNTIL (luckily within return period) they chose to lock it down and stop side loading, etc. and then to find out that they were pushing out updates to firmware even if you taken steps to stop it from updating.

    So, I think that most will shy (I did) away from the ownership because of the “Big Brother Inside” and doing exactly what the dev and user communities warned them NOT TO DO; or the communities would not back the Nook Tablet.

    My two cents

  3. Free or paid for, the Kindle Fire is more versatile. It is easy to customize. No rooting required to get rid of the carousel and install your own apps. Since my Nook 1E appears to be on it’s last leg, I’ll take the Nook tablet for free, though.

  4. Bob has a point. If it’s a gift, let the donor choose.

    Anyway, these two devices represent a distinction without a (truly substantive) difference. Y’know, six of one, half dozen of the other. Both are adequate, certainly for the purposes intended by their makers, i.e., providing a portable point-of-sale for their captive profit generators. And, you can read on ’em. Who woulda thunk it? (Talking to you, e-ink mavens.)

    As for this very frequent reader, I waited a year to buy a Nook Color (refurbished) for $129, and likely would not have been tempted to buy a Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet for $199. The NC works quite nicely, either with firmware 1.41 or the Cyanogenmod7 ROM, but as for post-sales service? Let’s just say that I’m not expecting any.

    I enjoy reading on the Nook Color, and do give B&N first chance at selling me a publication (IMHO, this is where price competition should really matter), though it seems that e-book sellers have been picking up the bad pricing habits of cellular service providers and gasoline vendors.

    But, I digress. The Kindle Fire is probably outselling the Nook Tablet because, I suppose, more people (necessarily) connect Amazon with online indulgences, whereas Barnes & Noble (at least traditionally) suggests a drive across town to a shopping mall. In this age of instant gratification, it’s no mystery that impulse kindles the gotta-have-it-now urges in the nooks (and crannies) of the overly wired, albeit often wirelessly, idle mind.

    Amazon vs. Barnes and Noble? May they both survive and prosper. And compete mightily!

  5. I’m not surprised. I bought my long-anticipated Nook Tablet in mid-December and was quite enjoying it. I had my Nook books and others on it and was sideloading my favorite apps as well as a launcher. I loved it. Then 5 days later B&N rolled out the 1.4.1 update and locked down the NT to block sideloading. I returned my NT immediately and went out and bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus and haven’t looked back since. My hats off to the developers over at XDA for working so hard to make the NT function as a real tablet. But for me the effort required now to root the NT just isn’t worth it. Certainly not to save a hundred bucks or so.

  6. After comparing the two devices, I chose the nook tablet. It has more and expandable storage, and I just liked the look of it overall. I believe one reason the Kindle is selling better is that they have much better displays in Best Buy, Target etc. At my local Best Buy the employees were really pushing the kindle fire and it had a prominent display placement. you had to really look to find the Nook display and it wasn’t very dynamic. I have the nook tablet, I love it it is rooted and I absolutely love it!!! Just don’t think it is as hyped.

  7. I’ve been sorely tempted by the Nook Tablet at that price.

    (And if they were to put the refurbed Nook Colors on sale again at about $120, I might get one to use as a reader.)

    But I just can’t bring myself to pull the trigger on the NT when it’s so walled off. I appreciate the efforts the folks at XDA are making to open up the NT. But it sounds like there’ll be some fantastic Android tablets coming out later this Spring for extremely fair prices. So why should I fuss with the NT now if I can wait? I don’t NEED one.

    Besides, I just picked up a Kobo Touch on sale ($80+shipping at Target) last week. (My very first eReader!) This will fill my needs for now and give me something to play with until a tablet that interests me comes out.

    Honestly, I like the NT’s feel and looks and especially its screen. But their walled garden turned me off.

    So not only has B&N lost a NT sale to me, I probably won’t be buying books there either because I don’t want to fool with their particular DRM.

  8. I didn’t buy either one of them. For comparable money, I got a Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0, which for my money, beats the pants off both Fire and Nook Tablet.

    It has cameras front and back, microphone, two speakers, GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi, Android Market access (Amazon App Store is easily added), better battery life, better resolution, and is lighter and easier to carry around. I can slip it in a pocket. Runs games fine. EASIER for my old eyes to read on than either Fire or Nook, which I’m guessing has to do with the better resolution.

    I carry it on walks and use it as a media player and also let the GPS track my mileage. A very versatile mini tablet!

    It’s on sale right now at $219. I paid $229 on a Black Friday sale.

  9. I love my Kindle Fire especially now that I get daily notification of free books. I also considered a Nook Tablet before Barnes and Nobel locked it. I have all the readers on my iPad and like not being locked into a single source, even though most of my content came from Amazon.

  10. I believe there are’t really ereaders but tablets; I’ll take the Nook Touch for an ereader anytime over the Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet. I mean really people if your going the tablet route you might well get something that has a camera, SD card (I know the Nook Tab has one), and a microphone. You can download the Kindle and Nook apps and run them on something much better! I also believe that they both fail as Tablets!

  11. I’d probably prefer the Nook if it was free and I had a choice. Mainly because it supports epub from any source, plus expandable memory.

    Plus I’m still a little sour on Amazon in general. I was one of those 10,000 California affiliate publishers that got dumped with just 9 hours notice, forcing me to scramble to remove all the Amazon inks from my website. Now that I know how Amazon treats people when the going gets rough, I prefer to shop at B&N for books and generate a little sales tax revenue for my starving state.

  12. I think I would choose the Kindle Fire over the Nook Tablet as a gift (although I would not buy either and think a rooted Nook Color beats both). B&N locked down the Tablet too much, provided only 1GB of personal space, and a vague hope of future B&N content (music, games, videos) for the remaining untapped 15GB. Amazon already offers such content for the Fire.

    If I ever do buy a tablet, it will be a real one (i.e., cameras, expandable memory slot). Something like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0, Toshiba Thrive, or forthcoming MeMo. With these I can load the Kindle/Nook/Kobo reading apps, Skype, sideload music, and/or stream videos all on one device.

    So, for a free gift I would accept the Fire over the Tablet 🙂

  13. I personally wouldn’t buy either one as I have an iPad 2 and the 7 inch form factor isn’t very convenient for me. If I needed a smaller tablet device, I’d want to look in the 5-6″ range for something “super portable”. Otherwise I want a bigger tablet.

    If I were to pick in the 7″ range and vaguely in the price range that both are offered at…it would be a nook tablet over the kindle fire…if the nook tablet weren’t massively walled off.

    You have the first whammy of only having 1GB of the ~14GB of non-OS storage on the device actually being user accessible for side loading. That is MAYBE one movie at decent quality settings (last I checked I have about 25% of my movie collection falling under 1GB for an SD movie). So you are effectively forced to get a microSD card if you want to run any extra content. If you want any of that content to load on it with any kind of speed, you need at least a class 6 or better yet a class 10 microSD card. So now if you want to maybe add 8GB of storage getting you a little bit up on the Kindle Fire, you have now spent about another $20 (for a class 10) microSD card. Sure you can expand it up to 32GB and for not all that much expense compared to most tablets with built in storage.

    However, there is no reason most/all of that storage shouldn’t be user accessible. It annoys the piss out of me that I can only access ~246MB of the 1GB of total storage space on my nook touch…but at least there I can fit in a couple of hundred books and some wallpapers in that “small” user accessible storage space.

    Next, you have the walled garden of BN’s app store and complete inability to side load apps. I know it is mildly hypocritical of me to say that since I own an iPad2. That said, BN’s app store is less than half the size of Amazon’s, let alone the general Android Market and the prices tend to be significantly higher.

    Going back to my nook touch, the only time I buy books from BN is when the price is at parity or very close to parity with Amazon’s or other Ebook store’s prices. If BN is higher by more than about $1 I just buy the ebook from someone else, strip DRM, convert formats if required and sideload it on. BN having a completely walled garden wouldn’t bother me if there was price parity and the selection was somewhat similar.

    So at least for me, if I were to spend my money on either device, it would sadly be the kindle fire. I like BN’s hardware better and the asthetic…but it it just too limited. If it were significantly less in price than the Fire, I’d buy it, but at price parity or more, it isn’t equivelent as you’ll have to spend more to get the same user accessible storage (or more) AND you are going to have to spend more on apps in general and you’ll be much more limited in the apps you can get.

  14. Lots of valid points here but one thought hit me:
    If the Nook Tablet isn’t selling well, given that we already know the Nook STR hasn’t sold well *and* we know B&N’s ebook market share has been flat (~26%) for the past six months, has Nook peaked?
    Is what we see as far as they get?

  15. I love my NT, but if I had it to do again, I’d buy a Fire. Because my NT got locked down long enough after I bought it that I couldn’t return it, and I think it’s crap that B&N is telling me what I can and cannot do with MY device, and their app store is ***woefully*** understocked. It’s nearly useless. If they aren’t going to offer an app, I should be able to buy it directly from the Android Market or sideload it. So yeah, if I had the choice to make again, I would not buy the Nook.

  16. Since the point is which would you choose if price did not matter, and not the proper way to act when someone offers you something for free, I would choose the Kindle Fire. We have owned a Kindle Fire for almost a year, one Kindle keyboard for a year, and one Kindle keyboard for two years I think. We have never had a problem with any of them. We can buy, rent, and sometimes stream for free just about anything we want on amazon with our kindle, only draw back being not a enough memory space in my opinion. And my toddler has tossed that kindle all over the place and spilled water on it and only broke it once, at which time squaretrade overnighted us a brand new one. So we love our kindles, especially the fire. Now for reading, I prefer a kindle keyboard.