Barnes & Noble’s Nook HD and Nook HD+ are fine tablets. These tablets serve as your gateway to different Barnes & Noble content, from books to magazines and even some apps.
The problem with the Nook tablet is that like the Amazon Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD, it features a closed system. It means that you can only get content for your tablet from Barnes & Noble’s marketplace.
That is all good if all you want to do with your tablet is to read books, magazines, and newspapers. However, if you are like most tablet owners in the world, the tablet you want is something more than just a content reading device. You also want it to serve as a full multimedia device where you can play music, stream movies and videos.
Buying the Nook limits your ability to do just that. Though, Barnes & Noble, has a rich reading-centric content, their approximately 10,000 apps are pale in comparison to the hundreds of thousands found in Google Play Store’s hundreds of thousands. And without a music store, Amazon also holds the edge in terms of multimedia content.
And it showed on their sales. Their holiday numbers were less than desirable and there were rumors that Barnes & Noble might consider discontinuing their tablets and instead focus instead on licensing content for other hardware makers.
Taking a new direction
Fortunately, it looks like the Nook HD and HD+ will live to fight another day as Barnes & Noble has made a big step to address what they think is the biggest obstacle that is slowing down their sales.
Starting last week, the Nook tablets are now featuring the Play Store in its their ecosystem. In addition, the tablets will also feature other standard Google services like Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Chrome, and more.
Some people may think that this move signifies a surrender of some sort. But it looks more like a practical business move strategy.
Barnes & Noble initially tried the business model that is similar to Amazon’s. But while it worked well with Kindle, the success did not translate to Nook.
With this move, the Nook has become a more practical choice for the budget conscious tablet seeker. It becomes similar to most other Android tablets in the market as users can now access hundreds of thousands of free and for-pay apps from the PlayStore.
But what sets it apart is that it will still feature Barnes & Noble’s customized ICS operating system. This means that Nook users will still enjoy access to Barnes & Noble’s extensive reading-centric ecosystem and store.
With this measure, Barnes & Noble would no longer be pressured in providing apps that can match those from Apple and Android. Instead, they can focus on improving their catalogue of books, magazines, movies, etc. It would be even better if they can add a music store as well.
It also doesn’t mean, though, that they will stop producing their own apps. But with the pressure off, they can put their attention to apps that they really want to put out there like high-quality children’s software and other apps that can bolster their brand.
In conclusion, this move lets users enjoy the best of both worlds. They get access to both Barnes & Noble’s reader-centric catalogue and Google PlayStore’s wealth of apps.