Barnes & Noble is looking towards stopping production of its Nook tablet
lines, after suffering losses on the device range. Instead, the retailer will be allowing a third-party manufacturer to produce the tablet, with Barnes & Noble instead concentrating on designing devices and operating its digital book marketplace.
The latest financial results
show that Nook services and devices earned $108 million for the quarter and $776 million for the full year, a quarterly decrease of 34 percent and 16.8 percent for the year. The company "plans to significantly reduce losses in the Nook segment by limiting risks associated with manufacturing," states the report, and expanding that the Simple Touch and Glowlight devices will continue to be developed in-house.
The Nook HD and Nook HD+ will continue to be sold until it runs out of inventory, which should be until the holiday season, with pre- and post-sales support still to be offered along with software upgrades and online bookstore improvements. Future tablet lines will be "co-branded with yet to be announced third party manufacturers" in a licensing deal, which will allow Barnes & Noble to assume less risk in production, while still earning from devices sold and through its bookstore.
The move away from Nook hardware seems to tally with earlier reports
that Microsoft considered buying the digital assets of Nook Media for around $1 billion. At the same time, leaked documents revealed the company intended leaving the tablet business by the end of the year, in favor of using third party partner devices.
Overall, Barnes & Noble suffered a net loss for the quarter of $118.6 million, with overall losses for the year reaching $154.8 million.