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IDC: Nook Color Leading E-Reader Sales For First Time Ever, As Tablets Lag

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Kindle’s sales are suffering from Amazon’s lack of a color offering, at least that’s the read from a new e-reader report released this afternoon. The Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) Nook, with both color and black-and-white versions, now leads e-reader sales for the first time, according to research firm IDC.

Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) better hurry up and release its rumored color tablet. The buyers are there: e-reader sales grew by 105 percent year-on-year, IDC found. The company forecasts that the worldwide e-reader market will ship 16.2 million units in 2011 — a 24 percent increase over 2010, and still a conservative estimate compared to recent Pew and eMarketer reports.

3.3 million e-readers were shipped in the first quarter of 2011, IDC said, and its data is based on numbers shipped. Amazon and Barnes & Noble do not release e-reader sales numbers.

Meanwhile, IDC says, tablet sales are slipping, even for the iPad. Analysts said iPad shipments for the first quarter were “well below expectations,” which could have had to do with the iPad 2 being announced several weeks before it was actually available. That’s despite major expansion beyond the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) stores to big-box retailers. Tablets from mobile phone companies like Samsung and Motorola (NYSE: MMI) faced challenges based on consumers’ reluctance to sign up for the 3G plans often required by those carriers.

However, Android-based tablets grew to 34 percent of the total, an increase of about 8 percent over the previous quarter. And IDC expects that, in total, 53 million tablets will ship this year.

16 Responses to “IDC: Nook Color Leading E-Reader Sales For First Time Ever, As Tablets Lag”

  1. I have a Nook Color and love it. My girlfriend has the Black and white
    nook and loves it. We read now more than ever. I like the tablet
    function the nook color offers. I’ve never been a fan of a one trick
    pony. And the Nook color falls in a nice category of ereader and tablet at an affordable price. Its hard for us to read a regular book now. Its like putting in a cassette for music vs an MP3 or cd. Kindle vs nook  ?  Who cares… The bottom line is; reading is popular again. And Steve Jobs said in 2008, “Kindle is a failed concept”. And I thought he was a visionary. LOL

  2. Guest

    Note that the Nook Color is leading the growth here and is what caused Barnes & Noble to pull ahead. People are using the Nook Color to read magazines and kids’ books and do other things they can’t do on the black-and-white Kindle, and the Nook Color is $250 cheaper than the cheapest iPad 2. It appears to be a good solution for people who want an e-reader with tablet functions and don’t want to shell out for an iPad.

    • NuShrike

      And, the NookColor is a super-cheap Android tablet that’s easy to root and update to vanilla Android. It’s moderately popular with the geek crowd.

      For $300 less than Samsung Tab, and very portable 7″ size, it could be in an invisible value pocket that people have noticed.

    • The eReader space is heating up. I’m looking forward to seeing the next generation of Kindles coming from Amazon. Looks like they’ll have a color tablet product to compete with the Nook Color and iPads of the world.

        • contentnext

          Yes, I have a Kindle 2 the last white one.  And I have an iPad with the Kindle app.  I really do prefer reading on my iPad using the Kindle app. It’s not just Nook Color that people read books on. Incidentally a LONG time ago I actually read a whole book on my Palm Pilot just to see if it could be done.  I finished a 350 page book on it.  But because the screen was so small I wouldn’t have called the experience great.

          • NuShrike

            Interesting part is you could import your Palm Pilot books into the NookColor. One of the apps (Kindle, Aldiko, Nook, etc) could read the old Palm books.

    • Scott

      I do. Dozens of them since I bought my Nook Color and rooted it. Really nice tablet that’s great for many other things. And IDC is one of the biggest research companies. As to the accuracy of their data, hard to say.

      • I’m pretty sure IDC puls most of their numbers out of a banana or something. Kindle sold like 4 million kindles last quarter, there is no way Nook Color sold even one twentieth of that. Archos a small company out of France probably sells more tablets than Nook.