Barnes and Noble announced their new Nook eInk reader recently, seen here, and after some time waiting with them saying “May 2012” release date, they then came out and said the 7th. I eagerly went to the local B&N, and put my name down on the list to get one on launch day… which rolled around, and I got no call. I called the store, and was told they didn’t get any. After waiting a few more days checking stock online, I found that the B&N website had also sold out, with an expected availability date of May 22, 2012… which, interestingly, was the initial release date they had announced before pushing it up two weeks.
Some basic looking online found this, which basically says they are having stock issues. Fine, I think, and wait patiently.
Today, I got a call from the local store saying they got them in, and one is waiting for me… a week after release (which is certainly better than 2 weeks). While picking it up, I chat with the guy at the counter, and he’s actually a bit annoyed by the whole thing, because the stores in Portland (a primary market) all got enough on launch day to meet pre-orders, plus about 10 extra. The Eugene store (a secondary market, I’d guess), got 20. They had 80 pre-orders. So B&N basically ignored their numbers, or decided people in Eugene could wait. I’m not sure which, but it smacks a bit of Nintendo’s launch of the Wii. Big markets got priority over small (which is fine, sort of), but isn’t a purchase a purchase? We have a national currency, Eugene’s money isn’t worth less than Portland’s.
Apple isn’t flawless, nor is Microsoft by any means, but when they launch a product, they attempt to have enough ready for launch day to meet demand that’s built up to that point. What happens after launch day for Apple usually results in sell-outs. B&N should have just sat on the product another few days to have enough stock to actually meet demand. I’m just glad I didn’t plan on one of these being a Mother’s Day gift.