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About three weeks ago, I was invited to attend the launch event of Barnes & Noble’s new NOOKcolor. I had read a lot of information about the device, and was eager to see what all the hoopla was about. Three months prior to the B&N event, I had visited Samsung to see the new Galaxy Tab and yet again, here I was at the prospect of yet another Android tablet ready to saturate the already saturated tablet market.

While at the launch event, I bumped into some old friends from Adobe as well as the leadership of the mobile unit at B&N. Ted Patrick, Chief Evangelist – Developer Relations for NOOK, had invited me to the event and I was eager to track him down so I could play with the actual, physical device.

Of course, I figured I had to sit down and listen to what I have many times been through: yet another spiel about yet another tablet — but to my surprise NOT this time! B&N did something noble, pun intended, positioning the NOOKcolor not as a tablet device, but as an eBook reader.

B&N, after all, is a book company — so, why play to the crowded Android tablet device space when they could play to their expertise? A captive audience has trusted B&N for more than 100 years — not only for the collection of books, but also for the quality of the books and titles they carry.

Also, of note, B&N has over 1,500 stores in the U.S., and I learned they also run and operate over 600 college bookstores. Also B&N boasts annual sales of over $5 billion, 10% of which is generated from BarnesAndNoble.com — it’s a no-brainer that B&N is already well-positioned to be a dominant player in the eBook/tablet space!

On top of this, the original black-and-white B&N NOOK, had about a 20% eBook market share in 2010 — up from 0% in 2009 — and B&N is expected to sell the NOOKcolor in over 4,300 of its stores worldwide.

Here are some pictures of the night festivities:

Carlos Icaza, co-founder Ansca, Ted Patrick, B&N Chief Evangelist
and Developer Relations and Mike Melniki, Vice President, Adobe Flash.

Ted Patrick, NOOKColor, Carlos Icaza


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