More writing on the wall for e-readers

by Michael in ,

(Previously: here and here.)

Barnes & Noble Reports Record NOOK Sales

During the nine-week holiday period ending December 31, 2011, NOOK unit sales, including NOOK Simple Touch™, NOOK Color™ and the new NOOK Tablet™, increased 70% over the same period last year. Sales of NOOK Tablet exceeded expectations, while sales of NOOK Simple Touch lagged expectations, indicating a stronger customer preference for color devices.

So, Barnes & Noble's only e-ink device, the second largest competitor in the space after Amazon's Kindle, saw lower sales than expected while their tablet (generally agreed upon to be a better actual device than the Kindle Fire supported by a lesser--but improving--store) beat expectations. Enough so that B&N is considering spinning Nook off as a separate operating segment.

Once more I'll say it:
E-readers are probably doomed because they just won't make the kind of money these tablets and integrated stores are capable of bringing in. Some day in the not-so-distant future, B&N and Amazon will drop their e-ink readers. When that happens I'll hold on to mine until it dies unless someone pulls it from my cold dead fist.

If I end up having to eat this prediction, though, I'll do it gladly. Anything based on today's LCD technology, or anything similar to it will never advance in such a way that I'll prefer the actual act of reading full books on them to reading them on the Nook Simple Touch I have in my bag right now. I'd love to see e-ink displays look even more like high quality paper than they already do.