Kindle vs Nook WiFi – $149 Nook WiFi arrives June 23rd

The next chapter in the Kindle vs Nook wars begins this Wednesday with a Kindle vs Nook WiFi showdown. In the end of May we had found out some details about the Nook WiFi/Nook Lite courtesy the FCC -

  1. It has WiFi 802.11 b/g (big surprise).
  2. The codename is Bravo Lite.
  3. It seems to have a replaceable battery. 
  4. It doesn’t have 3G. It does have USB support. 
  5. It supports portrait and landscape modes.

Well, now we have confirmation that it’s about to arrive at a very attractive price.

Nook WiFi arrives this Wednesday

Courtesy Teleread and Engadget we now know the following -

  1. It’ll be called Nook WiFi. 
  2. It’ll be $149. 
  3. It’s going to be released/announced this Wednesday – June 23rd, 2010. There’ll almost certainly be preorders.
  4. The Product # is 9781400532629. There’s a class code that says ‘Future Use’ so perhaps that means preorders.
  5. The inventory system image doesn’t show any in stock.

The $149 price point is what really stands out for me.

Additional proof of Nook WiFi

If the image at Engadget doesn’t convince you perhaps this will –  

  1. The domain www.nookwifi.com is registered by someone named Tom K. with a bn.com email address.
  2. The domain was registered on May 2nd, 2009 so B&N have had the Nook WiFi planned for quite a while.  The registration was renewed in May for an additional year.
  3. The site used to have a normal B&N page but is now down. Probably being set-up to be ready for the Nook WiFi release.
  4. Tom K. and Mike R. are the names associated with most B&N domains related to the Nook. 
  5. Here are some other domains that Tom K. from B&N owns – Hoot.net, Thenook.com, Nook.net, my-nook.net. If nothing else it proves that Nook beat out Hoot in the great B&N eReader naming contest – proving once and for all that B&N’s product naming capabilities are non-existent.

It certainly seem like the Nook WiFi exists, that it’s about to arrive, and it may very well set up Kindle vs Nook WiFi as the eReader battle of the summer.

Kindle vs Nook WiFi – How important is Price?

If we, like most of the Press, disregard the 9 month existence of the Sony Reader Pocket Edition we can play this up as a great battle -

  1. In one corner stands the challenger, also known as Hoot Lite and representing people who think eReaders should be $99 – the Nook Wi Fi!
  2. In the opposite corner stands the defending champion, from Cupertino via Seattle and representing readers who like to get their books in 60 seconds or less – the Amazon Kindle!

It is the first time (this is what the Press will claim) that the Kindle has been challenged on value for money. It is the first time that a Kindle Killer has been so cheap (never mind the Kobo).

Actually, it’s quite interesting – If the only thing Nook WiFi sacrifices is 3G it might end up being a bit of a threat to the Kindle and a medium threat to the Nook. Here’s what you’d be missing -

  1. 60 second downloads. 
  2. Free wireless store browsing in 100+ Countries. Only on the Kindle.
  3. Free Internet – For people who complain the browser is severely limited it’s worth keeping in mind that the Nook 3G has a very good browser and even with the Kindle you can view mobile versions of websites relatively painlessly. 
  4. Synchronization of last page read across devices.
  5. Sharing notes, collections, and bookmarks across devices.
  6. Free downloads of books in 100+ countries. Only on the Kindle and currently only for US owners. 
  7. All your books in an archive in the Amazon Cloud and the ability to download any book wirelessly at any time. 

Perhaps it’s not that much to give up for $110. Perhaps it’s too much ease of use and too many useful features sacrificed.

Quite frankly, will have to see what other features the Nook WiFi has. At the moment the price is a big plus. $149 certainly sets a new mark and B&N suddenly seem very serious about winning the eReader war. For all the Press’ supplication at the feet of Steve Jobs the Nook Lite may prove to be a much more dangerous competitor.

Will there be an economy Kindle – a Kindle Lite?

The Nook WiFi makes you wonder whether Amazon have a Kindle WiFi or a Kindle Lite ready to be unleashed.

If not, how will they counter a rather tempting $149 price point?

The last time B&N announced an eReader Amazon unleashed a flurry of updates – PDF support, a lower price, screen rotation, better battery life. Given that they’ve just delivered a huge update you have to wonder whether they will have enough time to add more features – Perhaps Amazon did know of Nook WiFi and Kindle 2.5 is a preemptive move, perhaps they have yet another update in mind and that will be their answer to Nook WiFi.

The big difference at the 2009 launch of the Nook was that the Nook was $259 and Amazon easily matched the price with a $20 drop. If the $149 Nook WiFi takes off Amazon might have to start readying a Kindle WiFi or Kindle Lite for Christmas 2010. Kindle vs Nook WiFi will be a rather unfair fight and it might be unfair on both sides.

7 Responses

  1. I probably won’t spring for the Nook WiFi. I’ve got enough to read on one ereader as is…

  2. How can I tell if my Kindle DX has been updated to the 2.5?

    • Go to your Home Page. Press Menu button. Click on Settings. On Settings Page look at the bottom right. It’ll say 2.5.something.

      Alternately, press Menu button on Home Page. If there is an option that says ‘Create New Collection’ then you have 2.5.

  3. I have a B003 Internation Kindle 2.3 and still haven’t gotten the 2.5 update. Wonder why?

    I loved my Kindle at first. I live in Mexico, but my bank account and address and telephone numbers are in the US of A and I am now restricted to the books I can buy because of the Mexican connection . . . which shouldn;t make any difference to the Publishers with foreign contracts for their authors.

    Amazon Whispernet is the only once affected by my foreign country downloading. Technically the books are sold and paid for by US funds and addresses. . . so I can not get the books I want now and quit using the Kindle.

  4. I think it’s kind of weird that this post speculating on the possibility of a new, WiFi-only Nook appeared not only AFTER B&N actually announced said new Nook (and discounted original Nook), but also after Amazon discounted the Kindle2 to $189.

    • Well, the time-stamp is 00:21 on 21st June. So that’s before the announcement of the Nook WiFi and before Amazon’s response.

      Perhaps you’re equating when you checked the blog with when the post appeared.

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