Barnes & Noble will no longer make Nook tablets, but hopes someone might

Barnes & Noble will no longer make Nook tablets, but hopes someone might
How's this for a business strategy: you are continuously losing money on the hardware you build, so you decide to give others the opportunity to build the hardware that customers apparently don't want. It's foolproof, right? Well, Barnes & Noble seems to think so, because the company has said that it will stop making Nook tablets, and will move to a "partner-centric model" to let others make the tablets instead.

We have heard about this plan for a while, but we still don't really see the value in it for other companies though. The Kindle seems to have the market cornered on media-centric tablets, and most other companies make their own 7-8" tablets. Samsung has its Galaxy Tab line, Asus has the Nexus 7 and MeMo, Acer has the Iconia series, etc. It doesn't make much sense for HTC or Motorola to partner with B&N, and Sony doesn't seem interested in 7" tablets. Maybe B&N can convince others like ZTE, Huawei, or LG, but even if that does happen, why would customers be interested in the devices?

Barnes & Noble has said it will continue to make the black and white e-readers, but will look for partners on tablets. This seems to point to B&N focusing on improving the software side of the Nook while offering a wider range of hardware options. It's certainly possible that the plan will work out, but given that B&N has no partners lined up (at least according to the announcement), it seems very likely that this may simply be the end of the Nook tablet line. 



1. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

My first ever "tablet" was a nook color and at the time I thought I was the sh*t because I was the only one of my friends with a tablet. I loved the updates, and I really enjoyed the document reader and epub converter for my short stories. I followed Barnes and Noble closely after that and was dissapointed by their strategic hardware decisions with further nook devices. I still respect Barnes and Noble as a company but after the mishaps they endured, I don't blame them for stopping. On a different note, is Nook Press any good? I wanna publish some of my short stories and I haven't heard much about it.

2. ocilfa

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

For anyone who doesn't know, you can pick up the Nook HD for $129 and the Nook HD+ for $149. Both have google play enabled, and both have pretty good development on xda.

3. siluro

Posts: 46; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

That's really too bad, I never purchased or owned any Nook products, but I always thought they were on the right track. I guess trying to sell for a little above Amazon really hurt them in the long run when they were competing. Even with a tiny bit of a spec boost like the slightly higher resolution wasn't enough to take down the giant, and when Google came into the mix with the Nexus 7 that just made matters worse for them. I really hope they still make e-readers however. I would love to purchase this next gen model with the back lit display and higher resolution like the one found in Kobo's reader.

4. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Once again, another OEM using android for tablet bites the dust. Amazon's tablets aren't doing too well in case people are curious. The tablet business is a tough business. It's a commodity business and unless the android-based OEMs has both the economes of scale and economies of scope, these OEMS that are unable to differentiate against other android-based OEMs are not going to be last. Android tablets should be hitting the $100 price point for 7" in the next 12 months. What you are seeing in the android-tablet business is going to happen in the android smart phone business. This has been predicted by by theory disruptive technnology and basic ECON 101. The android OS is free, which means at the end of the day android devices will compete on price, ceteris paribus. We know this is true because commodity-like business compete on price.

5. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

A separate point. I commented a few months ago about e-readers and color screens. I really like BN's simple e-reader assuming it comes with access to the internet and has e-mail. If BN could make it's simple reader with 6" squarish screen at 5 ounces or less, with at least one month battery life, a display with higher PPI density, a faster processor for web surfing (i.e. no videos), throw in a few free game apps, etc and sell for less than $79, it will create a new market. That device would be great for those that want an e-reader with great battery life and the ability to check the web for news and e-mail. There is a huge market for those that want the bigger (wide) screen for surfing the web, where a more expensive tablet or smartphone would be an overkill. I understand the younger folks like bright displays to watch videos and movies, but there's a whole generation of older folks that prefer reading to watching videos, and because of their advance age (they probably wear bifocals) need a bigger screen. A small portable, inexpensive, light-weight, with great battery life and has wifi at $80 is perfect for this market. I hope BN takes a page from Apple and upgrade the simple reader each year with better specs and sell at the same price.

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