Kindle to Lend Books, Nook Checkmated?
Amazon has taken the wraps off a couple of new developments that are sure to please Kindle owners. The first is that Kindle periodicals will soon be readable on all of the platforms Amazon endorses. Owners of the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch will now have another option when it comes to picking up the latest magazines and newspapers. Much more important, however, is the announcement that Amazon is instituting a lending feature for the Kindle.
Straight from the discussion board: “Second, later this year, we will be introducing lending for Kindle, a new feature that lets you loan your Kindle books to other Kindle device or Kindle app users. Each book can be lent once for a loan period of 14-days and the lender cannot read the book during the loan period. Additionally, not all e-books will be lendable – this is solely up to the publisher or rights holder, who determines which titles are enabled for lending.”
As exciting as this is for the Kindle faithful, the first question that came to my mind was – What tricks can Barnes & Noble possibly have up their sleeve to get out from under this one?
In addition to featuring the Nook in Barnes & Noble retail stores, B&N also inked a deal that would put Nooks into Best Buy stores across the country. Amazon inks deals to get the Kindle not only in retailers Best Buy and Target, but they’re a default app on Verizon phones.
Barnes & Noble pioneered the LendMe feature, which allowed users to lend books to friends for 14 days, reflecting the common practice of book owners. Amazon has now, finally, trumped that with the announcement of a lending feature of their own.
The Nook still has a number of little tricks not yet matched by the Kindle. It allows for the use of SD cards for expanded memory, permits the use of the cross-platform-friendly ePub file format, and sports that nifty LCD screen for navigation.
Is that enough to overcome the Kindle’s advantage in book quantity, price, hardware, and brand recognition? Time is running out for Barnes & Noble’s erstwhile eReader. Here’s hoping they’re able to breathe some new life into the brand with the introduction of Nook Color.