Barnes & Noble Changes Mind – Will Design New Nook Products

Barnes and Noble has reversed an earlier decision to stop designing Nook tablets. The company had said it planned to use a third-party company to manufacture the tablets under the Nook name, but in an earnings report, they were singing a different tune.

Barnes & Noble President & CEO Michael Huseby said, “The company intends to continue to design and develop cutting-edge NOOK black and white and color devices.  We will continue to offer our award-winning line of NOOK products including NOOK Simple Touch®, NOOK Simple Touch® with Glow Light®, NOOK® HD and NOOK® HD+ at the best values in the marketplace.”

He also said that at least one new Nook device would be released for the holiday season and that more Nook products were in development.

In the earnings conference call, the new CEO Huseby said the outsourcing the Nook device would not be a smart move for the company and he admitted the company overestimated the demand for the tablet and produced more than they could sell.

He added, “All NOOK devices will continue to be backed by world-class pre- and post-sales support in Barnes & Noble stores, as well as ongoing software upgrades and improvements to the digital bookstore service.”

The Nook segment of Barnes and Noble’s business, which includes the tablets, digital content and accessories, reported revenue or $153 million dollars for the quarter, down 20% from from a year ago.

Barnes and Noble differentiated itself from the Amazon Kindle Fire by opening up its tablets to the Google Play store  and has cut the price of the 7″ Nook to $129 and the 9″ Nook HD to $149.

The move to keep Nook design in-house could reassure potential tablet buyers that Barnes and Noble is in the tablet game for the long haul. Amazon is expected to announce a refreshed line of Kindle Fire tablets for the holiday season.

~ Cynthia


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