Barnes & Noble CEO rebuffs Apple iPad concerns; says Nook is ‘single best-selling product’

“Calling the ‘Nook,’ eBook reader its ‘single best-selling product,’ Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio this morning argued the gadget is helping lure customers to its stores and boosting online traffic,” Tiernan Ray reports for Barron’s.

MacDailyNews Take: What other product does Barnes & Noble offer under their brand, a clip-on book light? No, seriously, do they even have that? They sell other people’s books, but Ray specifically states “its” when referring to “single best-selling product.” So if you only have one product, it certainly isn’t difficult to make it your “best seller.” Sell one and you’re done. Issue the press release.

Ray continues, “Much as with and its ‘Kindle’ eReader, Riggio declined to give sales figures.”

MacDailyNews Take: What a surprise.

Ray continues, “When asked about the large up-front cost to develop the Nook, and the imminent arrival of Apple’s iPad — it goes on sale in about a month — Riggio responded, ‘Gee, that’s a great question,’ and then went on to clarify that the company’s eBooks are available on multiple devices, including Macs and PCs and BlackBerries and iPhones.”

Full article here.


  1. nook single best selling product until end of March for wifi and end of April for 3G…

    Nook better than what? I didn’t know B&N;had an IT R&D;to enhance and expand it best selling product of all time… er what else has B&N;sold?

  2. @ mike g:

    That’s quite a list . . . in that it’s barely a list.

    The ipad *can’t* fail because of the technologies it uses and the ecosystem of whi it’s a part. All of which are proven and unmatched.

    This isn’t the Apple of the G4 Cube days.

  3. My mom has one. It’s ugly and slow. It does, however, offer those engraving-style B&N;portraits as screen savers when the thing isn’t on.

    If the iPad doesn’t display Kurt Vonnegut when it’s sleeping, I just can’t see why anyone would want one.

  4. its about to be relegated to the nook fo’sho!
    never ceases to amaze how the competition gets so defiant and in denial
    and then cries like a baby the hypocritical “monopoly” once  just stomps them.  has done it several times over yet still people talk about 15 years ago like  is going to suddenly just lapse into a timeshift coma!

    get a modern life people.

  5. not for nothing, but isn’t there room in the market for more than just one e-reader? this “[leading-industry-gadget]-killer” mentality is ridiculous. i mean, some people actually LIKED their GMC Gremlins and Pontiac Aztecs—whatever floats your boat, i guess.

    i understand that it was microsoft that felt the need to eliminate all competition because they’ve been creatively bankrupt from it’s inception, but now that they are slowly dying i hope that we can get away from that kind of thinking. i’m sure the iPad will be a success (i know it’s waaaaaaay more than an e-reader), but i can just imagine the tech reporters and bloggers saying that it’s an abysmal failure if it doesn’t wipe Kindle or Nook off the map.

    mdn mw: “works”—apple stuff just “works”

  6. @ mike g:
    “…well, if you don’t count the iPod HiFi”

    Hey mike, I got a returned iPod HiFi 2 years ago at BestBuy for $258. With the digital optical port, it makes the perfect shelf speaker. Currently plugged into my HDTV setup in our room off the kitchen where a 5.1 or 7.1 system is not practical. I know other companies have newer form factors, but, for the price, this thing packs some punch. I just wish it had been available in black.

  7. 1. Well, first of all, the Nook is a dedicated book reader with a comfortable e-ink display and is cheaper (along with Kindle) compared to an iPad.

    2. As excited as I am about the iPad, it will be an uncomfortable glossy LCD display – great as a computer, but not so great to just read printed books. Sorry folks, just keeping it real. I don’t enjoy reading books on my MacBook, iMac, or iPhone because of the bright backlit glossy screen. Not like a real printed book at all.

    3. I love Apple, but the Kindle and Nook are good for those that want to read digital books comfortably, and thats all. No graphics, no color, no apps, nothing else.

  8. Barnes and Noble is a chain of retail stores. They sell many thousands of titles of books, records and magazines, and the list of those products changes – minimally – on a weekly basis. To wonder “what else do they sell?” is a proclamation of – minimally – ignorance.
    I agree that it is a bit frustrating to hear a claim of “best sales ever” without being told how many sales that amounts to. Kindle. Nook. And I agree such a representation easily leads to suspicion. That does not mean you should go and shout to the world “I am ignorant, and I yet I am willing to shout my opinions from the rooftops!”.
    Show just a little class, would ya?

  9. More to the point will you all be cheering when B&N;disappear? Amazon can survive the failure of the Kindle. B&N;are facing the gradual decline of book sales levels that will sustain their biz. I’ve spent many contented hours in their shops on visits to the US. I for one will be sorry to see the decline of bricks and mortar booksellers.

  10. For what it’s worth, the Kindle and the Nook were developed to provide an access point for people who didn’t want to haul a laptop or netbook around to read their books with. In that market, they shined. Soon there will be a new player. Soon the somewhat more capable iPad will be available. The iPad will offer considerably more entertainment value than the Kindle or Nook do. At a higher price. It will offer a marginally better – for some tastes – reading experience. For a price. If the iPad were “just a reader”, it would have priced itself out of the market. However, as a minimalist “computer”, it offers more than enough additional content to justify its price to most.
    And … Amazon and Barnes and Noble will continue to profit from the sale of e-books – to be read on any of the “readers”.

  11. Anyone who just wants to read digital books will find that the Nook and Kindle are more comfortable on the eyes due to the e-ink displays, compared to the iPad. That’s the truth.

    If you want more than black and white text, you need an iPad. That’s also the truth.

    Nobody has bought the Kindle or Nook thinking that is was a functional computer that could surf the web, play games, play movies, play music, etc. They are dedicated book readers with excellent black and white text screens.

    In other words, the Nook and Kindle will be able to exist along with the iPad and I hope they do for people that just want to freaking read some books. If all devices use a common book format, that will be better for everyone.

  12. …”Anyone who just wants to read digital books will find that the Nook and Kindle are more comfortable on the eyes due to the e-ink displays, compared to the iPad. That’s the truth.”

    Amazon’s marketing team has masterfully planted this premise and successfully convinced quite a number of people that this is in fact so.

    Kindle’s (and Nook’s) e-Ink display is in several ways inferior to iPod/iPad/iPhone’s. It has poor contrast (dark gray on light gray, vs. black on white), it has no back lighting of any kind, which severely limits the conditions in which one can use it (plenty of bright light is required), and has very limited ability to display shades of gray. Apparently, Amazon was able to take all these shortcomings and turn them into positives (“looks like a real book!”).

    Apple’s mobile products have far superior displays. The contrast is significantly higher, which makes it much easier on the eyes to read. The ability to display millions of colours makes it much more pleasing on the eyes, even if text is only black-and-white. Backlighting guarantees optimal reading conditions in every situation (even in bed at night, when you don’t want to disturb your spouse).

    Both Amazon and B&N will have their own e-Book apps for iPad ready. They may continue to sell their readers for those folks who like them, for whatever reasons. But make no mistake, iPad will be a better reading device for vast majority of people.

    As for the “best selling product” statement, he said “it’s our single best-selling product”, which it may well be. B&N sells many products made by others; the Nook is likely one of very few (if not THE only) product sold under the B&N brand name, so he can safely say it and mean it. Same for Bezos/Amazon and Kindle (what other product does Amazon make/sell under their own brand name?).

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