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The Nook Revolution is coming undone before it even had a fighting chance.
Barnes & Noble's (NYSE: BKS ) seemingly revolutionary e-book reading device is getting the cold shoulder from the tech-reviewer elite.
- "Every one of the Nook's vaunted distinctions from Amazon's Kindle comes fraught with disappointing footnotes," writes David Pogue in The New York Times.
- "After testing the Nook for about a week, I don't think it's as good as the Kindle, at least not yet," The Wall Street Journal's Walter Mossberg reveals.
Initial shipping delays killed the Nook's chances of legitimately taking on Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN ) Kindle and Sony (NYSE: SNE ) this holiday season, but lackluster reviews now threaten the product's viability come next year, too.
Barnes & Noble already had a tight window for a successful launch. The buzz is heavy for Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) to roll out a reader-worthy tablet device. New reports have surfaced this week that Dell (Nasdaq: DELL ) will introduce a tablet with a five-inch screen next year, powered by Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Android.
In short, by blowing this holiday season and having to overcome tech-review objections, Barnes & Noble's once-revolutionary reader may not have a legitimate chance until the 2010 holiday season -- and by then, it may be an entirely different ball game.
The Nook's one shot at salvation is that once Barnes & Noble licks its supply problems, it will be able to trumpet its reader to its real-world customers. The superstore chain remains the premier physical hub for fans of the written word, and providing in-store models will help sway skeptical book lovers.
However, even that bricks-and-mortar advantage has a tight window. If Amazon, Apple, or somebody else sets itself as the e-book standard, it will be hard for the Nook to stand out in a strong crowd.
Does Barnes & Noble's Nook stand a chance, even with these initial hiccups? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.