Rising Above the Chatter: Who’s the talk of the town in the battle of the ereaders?

It’s been a big month of analysis, rumors, and speculation concerning the future of the ereader and tablet market. Kobo continues to make waves as it partners with the ABA to allow independent book retailers the ability to sell ebooks. The success of the Nook has abated and news sources have been speculating about its future, especially in light of price cuts on three of its devices. In the meantime, the Nexus 7 continued to get positive reviews, though everyone is still salivating over the rumored iPad mini, which could surely give the cheap tablet market a run for its money. All eyes are also turned to Amazon, who called a press conference on September 6th in Santa Monica; with a recent announcement that the online retailer has sold out of Kindle Fires, the unveiling of the latest Kindle tablet is surely on the way.

So who’s leading the pack and who’s lagging behind? Read on to draw your own conclusion:

“So the problem with the Kindle Fire — and the Nexus 7 — is the same problem that’s plagued the PC industry. Deep and extreme price cuts give the makers no wriggle room to innovate. There’s no doubt that a $199 was an attractive price point for a tablet, but it’s possibly that it was unsustainably low, and that by driving prices down to this level so rapidly, both Amazon and Google have irrevocably harmed the tablet market by creating unrealistic price expectations. It’s quite likely that these impracticable price demands could harm Microsoft and its tablet ambitions.”

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDNet (8/1/2012) 

“As of August 2012, CNET’s overall suggestion when shopping for e-book readers and tablets is: wait a few weeks.

As we approach the fall — and the run-up to the Christmas buying season — there are several unknowns. Amazon and Barnes & Noble will almost certainly release new products, and Apple is rumored to be working on a smaller iPad. With those likely or possible products on the horizon, it would be best to hold off any nonessential purchase, at least until Thanksgiving.”

John P. Falcone, CNET (8/7/2012)

 “A holiday sales spike following the launch of the Nook Tablet in November 2011 hasn’t been enough to sustain the Nook business. And despite the launch of the front-lit Nook e-reader in April 2012, Nook business revenues are flat compared to this time last year… Microsoft is investing $300 million to spin off Barnes & Noble’s Nook and college businesses into a new company. But these revenue figures suggest that’s a bad bet…”

Laura Hazard Owen, PaidContent (8/21/2012)

 “At this point, if Amazon is to get ahead of Google and Apple, the new Kindle Fires would need something special — and perhaps the location of the press conference hints that Amazon is teaming up with Hollywood.”

Peter Ha, Tech Crunch (8/23/2012)

 “The long-rumored iPad mini will measure 7.85 inches (compare this to the current iPad screen size of 9.7 inches) and it will not have the famed Retina Display, reports Bloomberg… The new form factor represents Apple’s effort to dig into the part of the market currently occupied by the Kindle Fire and other smaller tablets.”

— Dylan Love, Business Insider (8/31/2012)

 “Starting in October, Kobo devices and e-books will be on offer at independent bookshops through a new deal with the American Booksellers Association (ABA), according to a statement from the Toronto-based e-bookseller this morning… According to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story, many of those stores are expected to migrate to selling Kobo devices and e-books. Kobo intends to partner with all or most of the ABA’s nearly 2,000 member stores.”

Jeremy Greenfield, Digital Book World (8/29/2012)

“Consumers aiming to buy Amazon’s current Kindle Fire are out of luck, but a new model may be just around the corner.

The retail giant said today that its popular tablet is officially sold out after becoming the top-selling product since its debut almost a year ago. Amazon wasn’t shy in bragging about the Fire, calling it the “most successful product launch in the history” of the company, one that has garnered more than 10,000 5-star customer reviews.”

— Lance Whitney, CNET (8/30/2012)