Barnes & Noble gives up the ghost, will no longer manufacture Nooktablets
Barnes & Noble on Tuesday announced they will no longer produce Nook tablets, shoring up recent rumors that such a move was imminent. The company made the decision in an effort to reduce losses in the Nook segment by limiting risks associated with manufacturing, according to a press release on the subject.
The company pointed out that the Nook segment had revenues of $108 million for the quarter and $776 million for the full year. These figures are down 34 percent and 16.8 percent, however, compared to the year ago periods. Furthermore, digital content sales dropped 8.9 percent for the fourth quarter although this was largely due to strong sales of The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey trilogies a year ago.
Moving forward, Barnes & Noble said they will continue to design eReading devices and reading platforms but will rely on a third-party partnership model for manufacturing. This means that future Nook tablets will be co-branded with yet to be announced third-party manufacturers while still retaining popular product lines like the Simple Touch and the Glowlight. It's anyone's guess as to what companies might be interested in a partnership but just last month, Microsoft's name was being tossed around as a possibility.
Barnes & Noble said they will continue to offer their existing inventory of Nook HD and Nook HD+ devices at “amazingly low prices” through the holiday. Depending on how low prices go, these could be a good value much like the rock-bottom HP Touchpad fire sale a couple of years ago.
By Shawn Knight