Barnes & Noble NookColor Dilemma

This is not good news at all, really: Honeycomb to Require Powerful Processor, Screen: OEM

Google’s new Android Honeycomb tablet OS will require a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor to run properly, said Bobby Cha, managing director of Korean consumer electronics firm Enspert.

That means that many existing Android tablets will not be upgradeable to Honeycomb, as they lack the processor necessary to meet the spec. Currently, Nvidia’s Tegra 2 platform is the only chipset in products on the market to include a Cortex-A9, although other manufacturers have said they’re moving to the new processor architecture for 2011 products.

A 1,280×720 screen resolution may also be necessary, although Cha affirmed that “Honeycomb does not require 10-inch [screens] … it’s going to go as small as 7 inch.”

Even though we’ve yet to get Froyo (2.2) stable on a rooted NookColor, and there’s still Gingerbread (2.3) after that, this additional hardware strength requirement brings up a very interesting dimension to Barnes & Noble’s NookColor.

A NookColor is basically a device for reading books.

Book reading really doesn’t require a fire-breathing processor (right now). ePub files are basically tarted-up text files. There’s no need for massive power just to turn pages, take notes, or do highlighting.

Ah, but Barnes & Noble is going to do a NookColor App Store.

And that means there’s going to come a point where devs won’t be able to port their work to NookColor down the road due to inadequate hardware.

Sure, this could be another year away, but: Barnes & Noble has unknowingly entered an arms race here. People already see the NookColor as an Android tablet. Once owners of the un-rooted NookColor can buy apps, they’ll begin to see it more that way too.

Which puts Barnes & Noble in the somewhat strange position of having to compete outright with other Android tablet manufacturers despite offering something that is targeted for simple reading.

Previously here:

Android Froyo On Rooted NookColor
Replace That NookColor Keyboard
Memo To Barnes & Noble: Unlock NookColor!
How Barnes & Noble Can Help Kill Itself
Rooted NookColor Slaughters Samsung Galaxy Tab
Another Rooted NookColor Video
More PDF Action On Rooted NookColor
THE Reason To Buy And Root A NookColor
Rooted NookColor Videos
Reference: How To Root A NookColor
Google Books PDF On Rooted NookColor
NookColor Handling Office Files
Nano Fondle: Barnes & Noble NookColor



Filed under Android, Barnes & Noble Nook

4 responses to “Barnes & Noble NookColor Dilemma

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  3. Logan Kennelly

    Remember how Gingerbread was going to require a 1 GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and a large touchscreen? Dan Morrill, the compatibility lead, had an unofficial response of “I love it when people just make stuff up and report it as news”.

    Now, we are hearing the same thing except a super-resolution is necessary. And note the phrase “run properly”, as in, not a requirement but Android can take advantage of it.

    Your claim that Barnes & Noble was caught completely off guard by the fact that technology advances at a fast pace is laughable. In case you didn’t notice, they released two completely different devices within a single year.

    Your comments are meant only to incense, and here I am posting so I guess it worked.

    • mikecane

      >>>Your claim that Barnes & Noble was caught completely off guard by the fact that technology advances at a fast pace is laughable.

      We’ll see. ePub 3.0 is coming up sometime this year. Will any Nook2 they release have the additional horsepower to support it off the bat? Will they add 3.0 capability to the existing NookColor? I think B&N didn’t think all of this through and I say time will bear me out here. At some point, people will make a choice between NookColor as a device and just getting a tablet (webOS, iOS, Android) and running the Nook book-reading app. Despite the goodies NookColor brings with it, I’m not sure they’re compelling enough to keep the device alive against regular tablets that run the Nook app.

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