Last year Amazon and Barnes & Noble released their low-priced Android tablets to for $199 and $249 respectively. The $199 Kindle Fire sold an estimated 3.9 million units while the $249 Nook Tablet sold 1.92 million units. Seeing that customers were responding to the lower price point, Barnes & Noble quickly decided to roll out a cheaper Nook Tablet priced at $199.
The latest addition to the Nook Tablet lineup includes all the same features as the original $249 Nook Tablet with 16 GB storage, but with 8 GB of storage, 512MB of RAM and a lower cost of just $199.
“For any customer who likes to read digitally, watch movies or TV shows, browse the web, or help their kids read and learn through interactive books and apps, our new $199 NOOK Tablet with 8GB is the best product value on the market,” said William Lynch, Chief Executive Office of Barnes & Noble.
Starting today, the 8 GB Nook Tablet is available for purchase at nook.com. In the coming weeks the newer Nook Tablet should also be available in Best Buy, Target and Walmart stores. Barnes & Noble also announced that the older Nook Color had been reduced to $169.
Now when customers are looking to purchase an entry-level Android tablet at $199, the choice becomes a little tougher. Both devices feature 7-inch ISP displays, 8 GB storage, 512 MB RAM, heavily customized versions of Android, and their own app stores. They also have their own development communities and we have seen custom ROMs that offer the stock Android experience on both devices.
The only advantage I can see with the Nook Tablet is the inclusion of a microSD card slot for expandable storage, while I believe the Kindle Fire offers a better overall ecosystem of content.
It will be interesting to see if Barnes & Noble can catch up to Amazon in terms of market share. Offering a $199 tablet with competitive specs is a nice start, but they will need to do more to sway customers away from Amazon’s Kindle.