Thursday, October 6, 2011

How green is the Kindle Fire - part 3: Will it kill B&N and drive the bookseller into bankruptcy?

Today we continue with our Amazon week. After discussing if the new Kindle Fire and other new Kindles will contribute to making e-reading greener (it will), and comparing Kindle Fire with iPad 2 and Nook Color and see which device is greener (iPad 2), we'll talk today about the impact of the new Kindle products on Barnes & Noble.

First, the bottom line: B&N is in trouble. Now let's see why.

Fortune Tech wrote it very clearly: "
While Barnes & Noble has made a valiant effort to keep up with the times with its innovative line of Nook e-readers, it simply can't compete with the likes of Amazon, which introduced its potentially category-killing Kindle Fire last week."

The digital activity of B&N, led by its Nook, was what saved it so far from the same faith of Borders (i.e. bankruptcy) and the focus of its future strategy. In other words, this is what B&N counts on to survive and thrive in the digital age, when brick and mortar stores are no longer cash cows.

And now with the introduction of the new Kindle Fire and the new Kindle products the competition is becoming much harder. Just look at the comparison we provided yesterday between the iPad 2, Kindle Fire and Nook Color. Why would anyone pay now $249 for Nook Color, when they can get the same if not better (updated operating system and so on) Kindle Fire for only $199?

If B&N wants to make Nook Color attractive again they have to reduce its price to at least $199, which means smaller margins for them, which means trouble.

And let's not forget Amazon also announced three more Kindles at the lower end that are priced below B&N's comparable Nooks, which again means trouble for B&N.

What about new B&N products? According to International Business Times, "BN has reportedly been moving toward launching its own new tablet, reportedly called "Acclaim." Reports have suggested the product will be priced at $349. But since Amazon has more content, including streaming movies with its Prime subscriptions, it isn't likely that a higher priced tablet will have much of a chance competing against Amazon's lower-priced tablet. So not only will BN have to slash prices on its Nook products, including the Nook Color, but the company may have already lost on the Acclaim before the public has really even heard about the product."

So, as you can see B&N has to come with an answer to Amazon and do it quickly. The question is if they have an answer and also whether they can afford it. Unfortunately I'm not sure both answers are yes, which means that B&N is indeed in trouble.

To read more of our analysis on B&N visit Barnes and Noble Bankruptcy Index on our website.

To read more on how green is the Kindle, visit our website at

More resources on the ebooks vs. paper books environmental debate can be found on our website at


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Plant a tree for every book you read!