updated 08:50 am EDT, Mon March 28, 2011
Barnes and Noble said shipped 3m Nook Colors
Barnes & Noble may have had strong enough sales of the Nook Color to make itself an unintentional iPad rival, suppliers argued on Monday. The company has reportedly shipped three million since it launched the fall, one million of which shipped in the last few weeks of the year. Demand was reportedly such that it hit 600,000 to 700,000 of the LCD e-readers each month in January and February, Digitimes said.
The share would give it about 50 percent of the "iPad-like" market, the tipsters said, although they didn't say whether this included Apple or deliberately focused on all non-Apple tablets. Officially, Apple shipped about 7.5 million iPads worldwide in the fall, but it hasn't said how many of these were native to the US.
Barnes & Noble hasn't ever officially reported Nook Color sales but did say it was its top-selling product during the holidays.
Reasons for the popularity weren't given out. The Android device deliberately shies away from being a true tablet with a lack of support for easily available third-party apps and an interface that focuses on reading. Its $249 price has made it half as expensive as an iPad, however, and enthusiasts have taken to unofficial hacks to get full-fledged Android onboard.
The company has taken to partly acknowledging the tablet-like role and is planning an Android 2.2 upgrade in April that will add e-mail, support for some apps, and Flash support on the web.