Kindle vs. Nook Perspectives in the US: Is there a clear winner in the US eReader market?

In my previous two blog posts I have focused mostly on the US market for eReading devices. As Canadian, I find that it is essential to examine the trends caused by our neighbours to the south. While Canada may never be substantially interested in the Nook reader, Barnes & Noble is giving the eReading public ideas to ponder. This article at PublishingTrends.com pulls quotes from various online articles that mostly say the same thing: B&N and the Nook are the better choice. Needless to say, the article seems biased.

But, PublishingTrends.com highlights some good points about the benefit of Nook over Kindle. For instance, Nook now offers GlowLight on their SimpleTouch eReaders, an attempt to bridge the gap between a tablet and an eReader, though Joe Wikert notes that this technology is not enough to make the Nook stand out indefinitely. PT.com cites some ways that Kindle is failing; for instance, losing their retail space in Target and Kindle Fire purchased as a Christmas gift, but declining sales in the post-holiday period point to Amazon losing to the iPad for personal purchase and use.

The role of Apple in the eReading discussion cannot be overlooked – why buy an eReader when you can buy a tablet that can do books and so much more? I personally have avoided purchasing an eReading device because of my temptation to get an iPad.I am not convinced that the devices that have attempted to combine eReading and computer tablet functionality (re: Kindle Fire, Kobo Vox, Nook Tablet) are worth spending money on – the technology is just not quite there yet. However, as the eBook market grows, the devices on which to read them should improve (and so will the iPad). The innovative Nook features provide good competition for the Kindle and it will be interesting to see how B&N’s alliance with Microsoft changes the eBook market.

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