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Is Barnes & Noble about to 86 the Nook?

Posted: , posted by Alan F.

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Is Barnes & Noble about to 86 the Nook?
Back in February, Barnes & Noble's commitment to its Nook tablets was called into question after the New York Times reported that the company was looking to exit the hardware business. There might be some truth behind the rumors. For Mother's Day last month, Nook tablets were heavily discounted and for this past Sunday's Father's Day observance, Nook prices were slashed between $70 and $120.

Despite being labeled as a "limited time" price cut, Barnes & Noble announced on Monday that the new prices are sticking around, at least for now. This brings the price of the 8GB Barnes & Noble 7 inch Nook HD tablet down to $129 from $179. The 16GB slate is priced at $149 from $199. Even more dramatic is the price cut on the 9 inch Barnes & Noble Nook HD+, which is now priced at $149 for the 16GB variant and $179 for the 32GB model after a whopping $120 discount.

As you might expect, Barnes & Noble executives are keeping their chins up. Nook Media President Jamie Iannone called the sale a great chance for its customers to keep up with summer reading, and threw in some words about making reading more affordable. But it would seem that this is like the steward on the Titanic who told passengers to go back to bed because the ship merely threw a propeller. In other words, the Nook appears to be sinking rapidly.

Using these large price cuts and leaving them in place sounds like an inventory clearance sale. The last time we saw something like this was when HP slashed the price of its TouchPad to $99.99. The difference is that the webOS flavored slate was using an OS that had questionable future support while the Nooks are powered by a thriving Android platform that has a lot to offer buyers.

It certainly would appear that Barnes & Noble is clearing the shelves and might do what was talked about months ago, which is to shut down the hardware end of the business to concentrate on its Nook apps.


source: Barnes&Noble via paidContent.org

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