Barnes & Noble quits Nook tablets, stays focused on eReaders

Barnes & Noble quits Nook tablets, stays focused on eReaders

Summary: Facing extreme competition from Amazon, Google and others, B&N says it will stop manufacturing Android tablets

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TOPICS: Mobility, Amazon, Android
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Barnes & Noble to stop manufacturing Nook Tablets, focused on eReaders
(Image: Barnes & Noble)

A couple years ago I asked if there was a clear winner between a Kindle Fire and B&N Nook Tablet. It turns out there is now, as Barnes & Noble announced they will no longer manufacture color Android-based tablets and instead focus on their core business of eReaders.

Amazon came out with the Kindle Fire at a time when the iPad was really the only successful competitor in the tablet space. Today, we see low-cost Android tablets all over the place, including $99 models available at Wal-Mart, and Barnes & Noble's financial results show it is tough to compete in that market with the Nook HD and HD+.

B&N stated they do plan to work in partnership with third party manufacturers to co-brand color tablets, but we will have to wait and see how that turns out.

If you visit the B&N site right now you can see the Nook HD is available for just $129 (regularly $199) and the Nook HD+ for $149 (regularly $269) so if you have been thinking of one of these devices, now might be a good time to pick one up before stock runs out.

In addition to being the first ebook company to launch a color reader/tablet device, I think a lot of Amazon's success is also due to their media and shopping ecosystem. The Kindle Fire is attractive to Prime members because of free video streaming, and because shopping through the full Amazon store is made easy on a Fire.

If you want to read ebooks, then nothing beats an eInk display device, so it makes sense that a bookseller is going to focus on that market and see what develops in the color tablet market in the future.

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Topics: Mobility, Amazon, Android

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12 comments
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  • That is a shame,

    but other than books the Nook had to many lacking areas to be a good choice for a tablet. Adding Google Play support was the right choice, but it came to late. The Nook is a better device than most other tablets though, including the Kindle.

    I'm not sure what co-branded devices will do for them and single function devices are going to die as well. I can't imagine B&N is giving up on digital sales.
    Emacho
    • ..but the e-ink Nook Simple Touch...

      is very easily rooted and makes an interesting e-ink Android 'balbet'. Or is that 'ereadlet'..?
      I picked one up in the Nook fire sale here in the UK for £29GBP (~$20) and I can't fault it.

      We've got one of each or the e-ink readers in our house, Kindle, Kobo and Nook, and the Kindle frankly sucks compared to the other 2.

      We also have an old Kobo Vox reade/tablet and that is a waaay better device than the Kindle Fire.

      Frnakly I'm not sure how Amazon have got the Kindle 'on top' given the basic Kindle tech and Apple-like walled garden.
      Lord Minty
      • $20?

        Erm, GBP£29 is more like $40, but point taken...
        beck13
  • Agreed - excellent tablets

    Other reports indicate that Barnes & Noble will continue to sell Nooks. It's just that they won't make them. They are also saying that they will be continuing to sell Nooks thru the holidays.

    I consider the Nook HD/HD+ the best buys right now for your dollar. Too bad they didn't add the Google Play Store access sooner. That would have made a huge difference if that were available from day one.
    ckantack@...
  • Poisonous Microsoft

    Touched the Nook, it's now dead.

    The question now is not whether Nokia will follow, but when...
    danbi
    • Maybe they will

      touch you...
      hoppmang
    • That was a lame excuse, even by your standards

      "Quick - how can we turn this Linux failure into another 'It's all MS's fault"?

      Or didn't you know that the reason companies invested in the Nook was because B&N needed the money to stop the slide of Nook.

      Oh no, I forgot - no truth allowed here!
      William Farrel
      • Nothing to do with Linux or Microsoft

        The actual truth is that this is neither a Linux failure nor anything to do with Microsoft. I guess we've seen both ends of the bias spectrum here.
        CFWhitman
  • I have the solution

    They should switch to Android, then they'll be successful.

    I'm assuming they aren't using Android now. Sure hope I'm not wrong about that.
    toddbottom3
    • Really?

      Are you really cheering an Android based device losing to other Android based devices because 'Android lost'? What kind of logic is that? It sounds rather desperate.

      My opinion is that Android kind of sucks. It just for various reasons sucks a bit less than iOS and Windows RT.
      CFWhitman
  • Nook to Android

    You can go to www.n2acards.com and download Android 4.1.2 Jellybean and burn to a MicrosSD card put in Nook and boot into Android!!!!
    Or you can go to www.rootmynookhd.com and by a 8, 16, or 32GB MicroSD Card and install in you nook HD or HD+ and run Android 4.2.0 Jellybean. They are both based on CyanogenMod.
    Based on the Android Open Source Project
    Denny Fry
  • Nook to Android

    More..
    Once you do rootmynook or nook2android you can get an account on google and down load all of the Adroid apps and get an Amazon account and do everything the Kindle Fire can do. Basically you have a full Android Jellybean Tablet.
    Now that's neat and cool!
    Denny Fry