The Nook Color – A Real Competitor For The iPad?

Barnes & Noble have improved their Nook Color ebook reader and transformed it into a tablet designed for book lovers. With a price tag of only $249, the Nook Color could prove to be a strong competitor for Apple’s iPad.

The e-reader has received a software upgrade and owners can now use it to surf the Internet, play games, watch video content or send emails.

Nook Color’s success is proven by shipments – a whopping 3 million units were shipped last year. To compare, Apple shipped 20 million iPads and Motorola only 100,000 Xoom tablets, SanClemente Patch reports.

The e-reader does not have GPS or 3G capabilities, it is slower than the iPad 2, does not offer camera support, its battery life is inferior to the iPad 2’s and it has a 7-inch display. But unlike the iPad 2, the Nook Color offers Flash support, lets users extend its 8GB internal memory by adding a 32GB SD card and has a higher resolution display.

Thanks to the Nook Color, Barnes & Noble now hold 25% of the e-book market, while Apple has grabbed only 10%. Amazon continues to lead the race with a 60-65% e-book market share.

The Nook Color is mainly bought by women who use it to browse their favourite women’s magazines, the New York Times revealed.