Barnes & Noble made a misstep earlier this year when they released the Nook Glow ereader with a front light without also upgrading the screen. This put them at a technical disadvantage when compared to the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kobo Glo, and since B&N won't be ready to release a new ereader until next spring it looks like they've responded in the one way they could.
Tomorrow's Target ad has leaked and it is showing the Nook Glow for $120. Update: The new price is already live on the Walnart website.
That's the same price as the ad-supported Kindle Paperwhite, suggesting that this is a response to Amazon's newest ereader. Fast turnaround, that, considering we only learned of the price a little under a month ago.
I haven't gotten my hands on one of the new retail boxes for the Nook Glow, but I can already guess where that discount came from.
I bet this cheaper Nook Glow is missing the power supply. That would be the easy and obvious way for B&N to save money.
So do you think this is enough to make the Nook Glow competitive against the Kindle Paperwhite? I don't.
I am not usually a screen fetishist, but in the case of comparing the Nook Glow and the Kindle Paperwhite I have to come down on the side of the KPW. It's the software, dummy.
I largely thought that the iriver Story HD, the first ereader to get the HD E-ink screen, wasn't worth it because the software running on the Kindle and on the Nook was good enough to mask the difference. This time around the KPW will have software as good or better than the Nook Glow (Amazon's been working on it for 6 years now) so the Nook Glow won't have any advantage.
Of course, that might not have any effect on sales. As one reader put it:
I know when I talk to people, Amazon customers shop there because they love Amazon, their service and their customer service. When I talk to people about Barnes and Nobles, half of them shop there like they are doing them a favor. They want to keep them in business and act as if Barnes and Noble is some small mom and pop shop.
Hey, if B&N survives thanks to pity sales, who are we to criticize?