Is Nook HD a Giant iPhone in Disguise?
In an effort to compete with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), the world's largest online bookseller, Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) has introduced two brand-new tablets: the seven-inch Nook HD and the nine-inch Nook HD+. Both tablets offer distinct advantages over Amazon's line of devices, which includes four new Kindle Fires. But while the Nook HD+ features a form factor that resembles the look of its predecessors, the Nook HD is suspiciously similar to a competitor's product.
Barnes & Noble wasted no time in demonstrating why its tablets are superior to Amazon's. On the Nook HD+'s pre-order page, Barnes & Noble highlights the following features:
- No annoying ads
- Comes with free power adapter
These features are squarely aimed at Amazon, which charges $9.99 for its power adapters and $15 to remove ads from the new Kindle Fire tablets.
Barnes & Noble also produced three product comparison pages to highlight the differences between its tablets and its chief competitors, the Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HD 8.9", and the third-generation iPad. Barnes & Noble cleverly chooses to ignore comparisons that are less favorable. In its iPad comparison page, for example, the bookseller makes no mention of the Nook's free wall charger because the iPad includes one as well. When compared to the Kindle Fire, however, Barnes & Noble makes sure that the free wall charger is highlighted.
Barnes & Noble also made one mistake. In the product comparison pages linked above, the company states that Amazon is charging $20 for a wall charger. Amazon contacted Benzinga to clarify that the correct price is actually $9.99. However, Amazon's own product page for the wall charger reveals that it once sold for $19.99.
Nook HD retails for the same price as the Kindle Fire HD, $199. Barnes & Noble gains a significant price advantage in the full-size tablet market by charging $269 for the 16GB model, and $299 for a Nook HD+ with 32GB memory. Comparatively, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" retails for $299 (16GB) and $369 (32GB).
Barnes & Noble's tablets will arrive on November 1 -- nearly 20 days before the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" is scheduled to be released. This gives the company another advantage during the holiday shopping season.
With so many details revealed this morning, investors might think that Barnes & Noble has nothing left to talk about. There is one thing that the company failed to mention, however -- the source of its inspiration.
Nook HD+ maintains the company's trademark tablet appearance, complete with a chopped off corner. The seven-inch model, however, features rounded corners, black borders, and a home button located in the middle of the bottom border. If it were not for the addition of a white border that wraps around the device, the Nook HD would look just like an iPhone:
In these images, the iPhone 5 has been enlarged for comparison purposes.
Clearly the Nook HD is a bit wider than Apple's latest smartphone. It more closely resembles the iPhone 4S. But if one were to take the iPhone 5 and stretch it slightly, something interesting happens.
The iPhone 5 fits perfectly inside of the border.
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