These 2 Android tablets are often mentioned in the same breath, and most bloggers assume that they are direct competitors. But if my new supposition is correct, users don't see these devices as competitors.
I got into a discussion earlier this week with one of my contacts at ReaderDock, and he let slip a rather important detail about these 2 tablets.
a pair of speaker docks for the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet. The docks are the same basic design with 2 speakers, a spot for the device, and so on. The docks wouldn't be much use if all you want to do is read on the device, but if you want to play music or movies then they would have the same appeal as the docks for iPods.is a brand you might recognize. Early this year they announced
The dock for the Nook was announced first, and it also went up for pre-order first. So you'd think that it might lead in orders, or at least come in a not to distant second? That's not what happened.
I'll admit that based on the pitch at the launch event, the Nook Tablet would come across as a media device. And based on the iSuppli figures for last year there are about as many Nook Tablets out there as Kindle Fires (plus or minus 20%). So I was quite surprised to learn that ReaderDock was taking 3 pre-orders for the Kindle Fire dock for each one they received for the Nook Tablet dock.
Yes, the ratio is 3 to 1. Let's think about why that maybe.
While you might argue that there are 3 times as many KFs out there, it seems unlikely. It would mean that Amazon sold around 10 to 12 million Kindle Fires since launch. Yes, that is possible, but I think it more likely that Nook Tablets owners don't see their device as a media tablet; it's an enhanced ereader.
For all that it might do more than your average ereader, I think owners still see it as one. And in the long run that is probably going to hurt its prospects. For example, Barnes & Noble is probably working on their own speaker dock for the Nook Tablet. I don't think it will go over well, even if B&N launches it with a big showy press event.
This might not seem important, but one of the Kindle Fire's strengths for Amazon is that people use it to buy apps, music, video, as well as other stuff from Amazon. That makes the KF more profitable on average than the Nook Tablet, which gives Amazon another club with which to beat their competition.
Should B&N ever follow Amazon's lead and start selling media for the Nook Tablet, I think they may have some trouble. Their current customers don't see the Nook Tablet as a media device; it's an ereader.
P.S. I have posted before on why I didn't want to keep my Nook Tablet. It is heartening to know that the people who use the device see it the same way.