Still Hot...or Not? Technology Firms Face Faster Product Cycles
September 12, 2013

Tablet sales showed their first sequential decline ever in the second quarter of this year, according to research firm IDC. Apple sold fewer iPads than expected in its most recent quarter. Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader sales fell 20% in the fiscal first quarter ended August 20, two months after the company announced it will no longer make color versions of Nook, only black and white ones. And analysts are worrying about whether smartphone profit margins can hold up as buyer fatigue sets in.

Microsoft: Would They Really Want To Own Bookstores?
March 4, 2013

Barnes & Noble shares are showing impressive gains Monday following a fascinating article in Barron’s by my old colleague Andrew Bary speculating on the potential fate of the book retailer and its Nook ebook reader business.

As the piece notes, the company’s founder and chairman, Leonard Riggio, is interested in buying out the company’s retail operations. But Andrew thinks investors should take care not to let him pull a Michael Dell and try to buy back the company on the cheap.

How Many Tablets Does the Market Have Room For?
November 26, 2012

Surface. iPad. Nook HD. Kindle Fire HD. iPad Mini. The list goes on and on. Consumers can try to escape the onslaught of new tablets, but they are inescapable.

Apple, Sony, Samsung, Asus, Acer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Barnes & Noble are among the many companies that have developed at least one tablet. Some of these companies are attempting to expand the market with the so-called tablet hybrids, which take advantage of Windows 8.

Scholarly Kitchen Asks: Why Did Publishers Get So Big?
November 8, 2012

There's a great piece by the Scholarly Kitchen's Joseph Esposito this week that asks, in response to the latest corporate megamerger between Penguin and Random house, "Why did publishers get so big?" His breakdown of the larger forces that led to larger publishers is exquisite. —Brian Howard

Quoth Esposito:

"For many people the rationale for bigness is all-too-evident: greed. But while greed can be a strong motivator, it is not a strategy. To put this another way, why does greed always reach for bigness? What is it about bigness that makes it economically irresistible?"


Apps, Books & Coffee: The Media Pricing Debate
August 20, 2012

It all started with John Lehman’s call-to-arms to app developers: “Those of us in app development love to talk about how ridiculous it is that people will drop $4 every other day on a cup of coffee but will not ‘waste’ 99 cents on our hot new app. I hope by now we’ve learned something: This comparison doesn’t work.”

iPad Rules the Tablets
June 6, 2012

The Apple iPad extended its lead in the global market for tablet computers at the start of 2012 while Amazon's Kindle Fire flamed out after a sizzling introduction, a survey showed on Monday. The ABI Research survey showed overall global sales of media tablets amounted to 18.2 million in the first three months of the year, up 185% from a year earlier, but down 33% from the fourth quarter gift-giving season. Apple

Scholastic Names Jenny Frost Senior Vice President, E-Publisher And E-Book Strategy For Scholastic's E-Commerce Group
May 17, 2012

Scholastic (SCHL), the global children's publishing, education and media company, announced today that Jenny Frost has joined the company as Senior Vice President, E-Publisher and E-Book Strategy for the company's E-Commerce Group.  Ms. Frost will be responsible for selecting, presenting and marketing digital product which will be sold to teacher and parent customers who access e-books from Scholastic and other publishers through Scholastic's e-commerce vehicles including Storia™, the company's e-reading application.

The Gadget Graveyard of 2011
December 12, 2011

As you shop for holiday gifts this month, take a moment to remember the many products that aren't on store shelves this season. For every Apple(AAPL) iPad or Amazon(AMZN) Kindle Fire you buy, there's another tablet that failed to catch on and was forced into retirement. For every Wii or Xbox you look at, there's a gaming system that never made it to the production line. Sure, you might not have bought these products even if they were still for sale, but to some die-hard fans and the people

Tablets: The Ministry Has Fallen ... They are Coming, They are Coming
December 14, 2010

Like many people, I reacted with a blend of anticipation but skepticism (let's call it skeptitation) when the iPad dropped earlier this year. The hype around technology products, and Apple products in particular, can be overwhelming. I rage against this over-hyping as much as I can, but there is no denying that the iPad has made a significant impact on information providers and their strategies.