Barnes & Noble made it clear at the launch event for its Nook Tablet that it has the Amazon Kindle Fire firmly in its sights. The tablets from the two companies are pushing media sales for both, and ratcheting up the ebook wars a notch. With so much on the line, and both companies depending on selling content to make a profit, will these be the first Android tablets that get locked down from hacking?
I recently wrote that the homebrew community was likely itching to get hold of both the Nook Tablet and the updated Nook Color announced yesterday. This community has hacked the original Nook Color since its release, and it has become a popular tablet to open up with homebrew software. B&N has ignored this activity as it didn’t impact the bottom line, but that may not be the case with these new devices.
Neither company has verified that it is selling these tablets at a loss, but those familiar with how much these things cost to build believe that is so. Even if the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet aren’t being sold at a loss, it is close to break-even at best. This means the entire business model for both companies is to sell the devices as a loss leader with the intention of making a profit from ongoing media sales.