CONFIRMED: Barnes & Noble to Ship New NookColor on 7 November

I've heard the most interesting rumor today, and while I don't know if it is true I thought it was worth sharing.

I'm sure you recall that about a month ago I posted on a leaked slide from a Barnes & Noble meeting. My source had given me proof that B&N had a new NookColor coming (I thought there were 2, but other sources disagree).

Today I have something new. This is still an unsubstantiated rumor, but I've gotten a hint that there's something Nook related happening on 7 November.

Update: I now have a second source reporting that a big change is coming soon.

I'm probably jumping to the obvious conclusion, but I do have to wonder if Barnes & Noble will be holding an event 11 days from now. But we know they have a new NookColor and it has to come out eventually. Also, that week is just about the last chance that B&N has to release the new NookColor; the Kindle Fire ships soon after. (I'm not sure the new NookColor will have much of a market if it's not available until after the Kindle Fire ships.)

On the other hand, my info comes from a retailer that they're going to need to ready space for a new Nook display. While that's interesting, it doesn't necessarily mean that a new Nook is coming.

Update: Check out what my second source said:

Every morning at work, we have a meeting. We discuss everything from new cafe product to books and music/dvd releases, as well as store goals. This morning, during our meeting, we were talking about this brand new NOOK department. Nook has never been considered a department, ever. Our store has went through an entire makeover the past couple weeks. We discontinued music/dvd/and audiobooks. we expanded Toys/Games to the back as a new department. in the center we took away the customer service counter and built a massive NOOK boutique. This space is HUGE, with bright lights, LED TVS, touch screen POS systems, the works. Our manager told us, this space was not designed to house just 2 nooks. He was being candid, he said, November 7th there will be a major announcement from the company. he concluded saying it was exciting times. Obviously something is coming.

Update 2: I now have a third B&N employee reporting the same thing. Yeah, I'd say it's going to happen. Would anyone care to guess what we'll see? I'm thinking that the original Nook might be retired because that would free up a lower price point for the Acclaim, thus enabling it to compete with the Kindle Fire.

On the other hand, look at how B&N responded to the K4. They dropped the price of the Nook Touch refurb so it matched that if the ad-subsidized K4. That suggests that the current Nook might be kept around with a price of $149 to $189, with the acclaim priced at not too much more.

Update 3: A Wall Street Journal article confirmed the expansion of the Nook Boutiques. That's good enough for me.

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52 thoughts on “CONFIRMED: Barnes & Noble to Ship New NookColor on 7 November

  1. I can’t believe they’ve sat back this long and not at least made some sort of announcement. Maybe they were thrown for a loop by the 200 dollar price of the Fire and not sure they could match it and still break even (and they have to match it.

    I really feel like Amazon is gunning for them. Overdrive and Fire are both about smashing B&N. I really hope this is NC2, and that NC2 is competitively spec’d and priced.

    My fear is that it won’t match the CPU and that B&N will try much harder this time to keep it locked down. Can’t wait to find out.

  2. Oh, sweet! Finally.

    I’ll tell ya, life as a nook fanboy isn’t easy- this has got to be, like, the third or fourth time I’ve had to sit through weeks of radio silence while everyone goes on and on about a new Kindle with some marginal improvements.

    But, so far at least, the good old bookstore boys always come through at the eleventh hour with at least one big innovation and a more-than-competitive product.

    I suspect this pattern will continue, though. Barnes and Noble definitely doesn’t do vaporware, and they know that announcing a product far in advance just gives Amazon more time to copy it.

  3. It could be a Touch-less entry level Nook.
    For all the hype over Fire, the real threat to B&N is the K4 at $79 bringing in a horde of new, entry-level buyers into the Kindle ecosystem. The goal is still to grow the competing ecosystems, no? And B&N’s entry level price is closer to Amazon’s premium models than their entry-level.
    At this point B&N might just be better off with a new eink Nook and dropping the price of the NC ($189?) and waiting til spring to update it.

  4. I’m hoping one of the new ereaders has a mirasol display or color eink and B&N is finally ready to expand operations worldwide. I’ll happily pay $350+ for a small portable ereader than I can use outdoors. (NB: I have an iPad 2 and have grown frustrated with the limitations).

  5. I work at a Barnes and Noble store. We are also getting the expanded “Nook Boutique” which is scheduled to be completed around the exact time of this rumored launch.

    I heard the exact same thing, Nook Color 2 announced and launched in early November to beat Amazon to the market. Expect a launch more similar to the first Nook Color. Loaded on specs with a low price and development adds major features down the road like how they added flash, app store, email, etc.

  6. A refreshed Nook Color at a Kindle Fire price; the Nook Touch, possibly with a slightly lower entry price ($129?); and something to help them get to a under $99 on some device, possibly refurbs assuming there is a supply.

    B&N just has to ensure Nook stays in the game while Amazon spends all the marketing dollars in the coming couple of months.

    1. Well, if you throw refurbs in, they already have NTs at $79.

      But entry-level buyers don’t normally go for refurbs and some would think it tacky to gift a “used” device.
      I don’t think they have to go all the way to $79 to match the K4 but they do need something they can sell as *new* at $99.

  7. Finally!!!, I have been surfing the web everyday for the last month for any news on the nook color 2. finally some sweet release from the endless hours of search multiple sites at the wee hours of the morning thank you digital reader. I can stop and get back to my life.

  8. Yeah, me too! I did a search on new Nook every few days. I was getting so frustrated that B&N was taking too long to announce their new Nook!

  9. Do note: the expanded Nook boutiques are only coming to 40 of the top-performing B&N stores. The other 90% get…? Nothing…?
    Do I smell a cash crunch? :(

      1. They just received a $200M cash infusion from Liberty and will be cash flow positive this year as they were last year. It’s just that some of the larger urban stores can accomodate a bigger nook space. But I love how everyone thinks this company is going out of business despite the fact that it has 25%+ share of the digital market, is the only national bookstore, has years of liquidity, short-term leases, and is adding $1 billion a year in digital and hardware sales.

          1. At times it looks like they’re headed for a chapter 11 “rinse” next spring. Which is better than Borders’ chapter 7 liquidation. They really need a killer Xmas haul.

      2. Me neither.
        It can hardly be *that* expensive to set up a few new displays to promote their pride and joy.
        The term that comes to mind is: Triage.
        But then, I’ve been getting bad vibes from B&N’s managers for several months now.

  10. They’ve been losing money because they have been investing in their digital business. They lost north of $200M dollars in operating profit last year in the digital business. But as they grow their installed base, that will change as more content dollars flow through. You can already see that in their numbers as every quarter has improved on the preceding in their digital business. That’s how razor/razor blade models work.
    Btw, this idea that Amazon is losing tons of money on the Fire is a farce. The reason they forecasted such a bad quarter was due to an accounting issue. For ad supported kindles, Amazon can only book the revenue for the device and must book the entire cost of the device, but it cannot book the revenue from the ads. So on on paper, it looks like Amazon will lose $40 per device, but over the lifetime of the device, it should not lose money. Even that thinking is conservative. How is Kobo pricing a similar device for $199? They don’t have the equity to lose money on every device.

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