Lex Friedman blogs here.

Lex is the EVP of Sales and Development for Midroll, the world's best podcast advertising network.

He was previously Macworld's senior writer, and continues to contribute to the publication. He is the cohost of the Not Playing podcast, a cohost of the Turning This Car Around podcast, a cohost of the The Rebound podcast, and the sole host of the Your Daily Lex podcast.

Lex's first book, The Snuggie Sutra, is exactly what it sounds like. His most recent book is a Dr. Seuss parody for adults; it's called The Kid in the Crib.

You should follow him on both Twitter and App.net.

Lex would be delighted to speak at your awesome event.

The NookColor is not a threat to the iPad

My friend and former coworker Joel Downs got very excited about the newly-announced NookColor. He thinks its low price and iPad-esque functionality will make it a viable iPad challenger. I love Joel, but I think he’s dead wrong on this one.

Let me break down my disagreements with — and factual corrections to — Joel’s post.

[The NookColor is] a huge leap forward that should help them gain significant market share.

To me, it’s an Android-powered tablet. It might eat more Kindle market share — customers who don’t understand or appreciates the benefits of the e-Ink screen will likely value the Nook’s color as a key e-reading feature. But this thing isn’t going to touch the iPad’s market share.

Joel then writes that the NookColor will feature:

Its own app store, so presumably most Android apps will work with it, although B&N will  curate the offerings

Nope! Google only permits Android-based cell phones to access the Android App Store — tablets need not apply. When Barnes & Noble describes the NookColor as offering curated apps, that’s not a feature. It’s a limitation. You won’t be able to access apps from the Android App Store at all. Developers who are embracing Android’s “openness” would need to resubmit their apps to B&N and hope for approval, and of course update their apps separately for the different App Stores. Fun!

Of course, B&N hasn’t said that they’ll accept third-party apps at all. The apps you get are a reader and a browser. The feature list doesn’t mention any other apps. That means no email client, no Twitter client, no RSS client, and no Angry Birds.

If you read through that feature list above, it matches the iPad almost feature-for-feature, although it surely has a slower processor, and of course wouldn’t sync with iTunes.  

Wow. Joel, Joel, Joel. I don’t think you understand all the things the iPad can do. But that “surely” slower processor is far worse than you think. Behold, real live video of the NookColor in action. That thing where its response time is awful when scrolling or tapping? And that other thing where the demonstrator — a rep in place to show off the new Nook — keeps tapping unintentionally because of the slow response times, because she taps, sees no effect, and then taps again, and then the Nook catches up and screws everything up?

That kind of crap doesn’t fly over at Apple. 

The NookColor looks a little like an iPad, and it runs app a little like an iPad, but it’s no iPad. It’s a little too little of everything. The 7” screen isn’t helping.

Don’t get me wrong; it may well make a fine e-reader. But this is no iPad killer.

So the question is will people keep shelling out $600+ for Apple’s iPad?  If so, why?  The prestige?  The “cool factor”?  Because they’ll only buy Apple products?

I’ll leave aside the Apple-consumer character assassination. I don’t think folks will necessarily keep shelling out $600 for an iPad, since they can get one for $500 direct from Apple already. If they want a fancier version with more storage and/or 3G, then yes, they may get to $600. 

But they’ll keep buying iPads because they want a tablet, and not a standalone e-reader.

At their current pace, Apple may see the iPad get Mac’ed in the not-too-distant future.  Its cost and closed nature will relegate the iPad to a niche market of customers who will spend significantly more for the sense of style and status that Apple products bring with them, but the mass market will yet again pass Apple by.

In two quarters, starting in April 2010, Apple sold 7.5 million iPads. I’ll gladly buy Joel one of his own if combined sales of every 7” Android tablet on the market exceed 7.5 million devices by April 2011.

Posted on October 27th, 2010