Join gaming leaders, alongside GamesBeat and Facebook Gaming, for their 2nd Annual GamesBeat & Facebook Gaming Summit | GamesBeat: Into the Metaverse 2 this upcoming January 25-27, 2022. Learn more about the event. 

Nook ColorThanks to its prominent position as a combination e-reader and tablet device that has books, full-color magazines and casual games, the Nook Color’s ownership is now almost 75 percent women, according to a Barnes & Noble executive.

While it was known generally that women buy more Nook Colors, we had no idea it was so one-sided. The surprising number came from Claudia Romanini Backus, Barnes & Noble’s director of developer relations, when I spoke with her at CTIA Enterprise 2011 in San Diego. Backus’ job is to work with developers to get more apps into the Nook’s sparse-but-curated 800-count application market, and this statistic is one she frequently cites to app developers she wants to attract.

“We on the app team make it a point to talk about it,” Backus said. “We want developers to realize this is an area they can differentiate and take advantage of.”

Women buy more e-books than men, with recent research by GfK MRI suggesting women are 52 percent more likely than men to own an e-reader. Why the Nook Color is so much more popular women likely comes down to two of its unique features: an extensive array of digital magazines from most major publishers and fun casual games like Angry Birds. It also doesn’t hurt that the device has a 7-inch screen, which makes it better suited for purses than an 10-inch tablet like the iPad.

The $249 Nook Color’s position as one of the cheapest Android tablets around was upended recently by the debut of the $199 Amazon Kindle Fire, which will launch on Nov. 15. Perhaps the tablet’s female fans will be one area the Nook can continue to thrive. That said, I do expect Barnes & Noble to drop its Nook Color price in the near future or release an updated version of the device or both. Or perhaps it could sell this Nook Color for $199 and a new Nook Color 2 for more.

Since the Nook Color’s launch last year, Barnes & Noble hasn’t released official sales numbers for the device, so it’s hard to see just how many women have purchased one. One report in March suggested B&N had shipped more than 3 million Nook Colors and who knows how many the company has sold since then. Even at the low end, as many as 2 million women likely have a Nook Color.

Are you surprised the Nook Color’s female ownership numbers are so high?


VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more
Become a member