The introduction of the $249 B&N Nookcolor signals the initial point of acceleration towards a digital textbook future.
Device Prices: A $249 price tag will decline rapidly over the next two years, as Amazon and Apple compete and the technology advances. Expect a $100 Nookcolor within 2 years.
Experience: Textbooks will be better than paper on the Nookcolor. Integrating videos, animations, recorded lectures, LMS functionality (through the browser), interactive diagrams and maps, and continuously updated content will turn textbooks into personalized, active learning platforms.
Textbook Prices: Digital textbook prices will be less than paper textbooks - even with all the associated rich media. Why? Digital textbooks subvert the used textbook market, the main reason why paper textbook prices are artificially high. The major publishers will be highly motivated to create great digital textbook experiences, as they benefit from the shift from paper to digital.
Barnes & Noble has a great opportunity here to disrupt the textbook market - as today they run a huge number of college bookstores. They are in an ideal position to market the benefits of digital textbooks to both faculty and students.
My oldest daughter goes to college in 2015. She will never buy a paper textbook. She will pay less than today's students for textbooks, and will receive a much better product. Products like the Nookcolor are very good news indeed for both students and the textbook publishers.
Tell me why I'm wrong.