Well, it looks like I was right. The Nook Tablet isn’t selling as well as the Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble just proved it today by introducing a new Nook Tablet, one with half the memory and RAM as the original, which helped them bring the price down to $199, the same price as the Kindle Fire.
The new Nook Tablet is already available for immediate shipping from B&N.com. It is exactly the same as the original Nook Tablet, which is still $249, but it has 8GB of storage instead of 16GB and has 512MB of RAM instead of 1GB.
Barnes and Noble also reduced the price of the Nook Color from $199 to $169 because they certainly can’t sell it for the same price as the new Nook Tablet. But I don’t think $169 is good enough; there’s no reason whatsoever not to spend an extra $30 to get the 8GB Nook Tablet. In fact, it’s surprising that B&N still sells the Nook Color at all; I thought they would have discontinued it by now with the Nook Tablet set to take its place.
It will be interesting to see how this new $199 Nook Tablet plays out. I don’t think it was the price that was hurting Nook Tablet sales so much as Barnes and Noble’s insistence on keeping it locked down to the B&N Nook store. Everything went downhill after B&N closed off the ability to sideload apps from outside the Nook store, especially when the Kindle Fire allows this.
You wouldn’t believe how many people I hear saying they would never buy a Nook because it is too restricted and walled-in to Barnes and Noble. That’s what everyone used to say about Amazon and the Kindle.
But no matter how hard B&N tries to keep the Nook Tablet locked down, they can’t keep developers locked down. After all, the Nook Tablet can be rooted to install the Android Market and now there’s even a CM7 ROM to install as well. And CM9, Android 4.0, doesn’t look far off.