Barnes & Noble abandons Nook hardware

As was seemingly just a matter of time, the struggling book seller confirmed that it is abandoning its Nook hardware business and will instead rely on a ”partnership model for manufacturing in the competitive color tablet market” that will seek third-party manufacturers to build eReaders that run Nook software.

The tablet business is tough and companies like Barnes & Noble figured they could swoop in and easily grab share from Amazon. It’s not that easy.

  • Other stories have raised a potential drop in build quality.

    To which I say: AYFKMWTS?

    Although I’ll admit: I finally saw a fully functioning Nook on display. This weekend. I’m sure it’s already broken.

  • Jim McPherson

    I actually liked the Nook hardware. I bought a Nook tablet for my dad for Christmas a few years ago – there was no iPad Mini yet, and I thought the full iPad might be overkill. It has a nice feel to it, and seems actually well made. The main problems it suffers from are: – It runs Android – It doesn’t have an ecosystem of curated content

    This one isn’t even Google Play compatible, so my attempt to install the official MLB App on it was a non-starter. But as an email, occasional surfing, and sudoku device, it’s quite functional.

    I still think B&N builds the best pure eReader (the SimpleTouch Glowlight), and that business isn’t going anywhere.

    • GTWilson

      It definitely compares favorably to the Kindle PaperWhite.

  • Moeskido

    We got the cheap, non-Android Nook two Januarys ago as one of three ePub-project test devices. It still works okay, and has features its Kindle counterpart didn’t, but neither is my go-to device for much more than bathroom reading these days.

  • lucascott

    Have to wonder how much of this could be due to Amazon’s early games in the market. They were under selling ebooks as loss leaders for ages. Something they could afford to do with their vast catalog of other items to make up any lost money. But places like B&N didn’t have that luxury. So they had to take a loss to try to compete on the pricing at what cost to themselves.

    And yet the DOJ only bothered when Apple got involved

    • Moeskido

      Pretty much.

  • Mother Hydra

    These devices weren’t going to set the world ablaze with an alos-ran mindset up top. Pretty sad