Barnes & Noble Nook

Following years of rumors and speculation, Barnes & Noble has confirmed that it will be splitting its Nook hardware line and its brick and mortar retail business into two different companies. The move will be finalized by the end of the financial year.

After enjoying a modicum of success initially, the Nook series of e-readers failed to maintain their momentum against the likes of Amazon's Kindle e-readers. Barnes & Noble also ventured into the tablet segment with the Nook HD+ and the Nook Color, but these devices failed to attract mainstream consumer attention despite offering decent hardware specs.

Barnes & Noble launched the Nook hardware line following a $300 million investment from Microsoft in 2012, which gave it a 17.6% stake in the company.

The move to split Barnes & Noble into two entities will serve to alleviate strain on the retail side of the business, which is faring relatively better than the Nook division. Earlier this year, it was reported that overall revenue from Nook fell by 50.4 percent over the course of the year, with no new models announced during that time period.

That is set to change in the near future, as it was revealed earlier this month that Barnes & Noble was looking to launch a Nook edition of the Galaxy Tab 4. There isn't an estimate as to when the tablet would be available, but documents filed with the SEC indicate that Barnes & Noble is set to buy one million tablets over the course of the year.

What are your thoughts on the split? Did you use Nook hardware in the past?

Source: Barnes & Noble


Reader comments

Barnes & Noble spinning off Nook business


It's only a matter of time before B&N joins Borders in the retail graveyard.

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Doubtful. There are still kids, teachers and parents who flock to B&N and Half Price books to get real paper books. Just means that B&N now has that revenue stream mostly to itself barring the few remaining momnpop stores that usually carry rare books and thats because the clientel are looking/have money for those type items. I've mostly moved to digital but I still occasionally pick up Graphic Novels at real stores.

As a parent I can tell you up until around 10-12 HATE reading on tablets, paper books are where its at for them and that market is growing as more people have 2+, 3+, and even 4+ kids these days. They don't get them from amazon either, they get the scholastic form at school and for the other stuff they go to actual book stores so they can see for themselves. The kids section at B&N now is HUGE, takes up the whole back half of the store and then has a lot of overflow with legos and discovery toys right in front of that.

Personal experience doesn't equate their fiscal reality. Borders, Waldenbooks, B. Dalton's, lots of indie book stores are all history. For B&N, it's not if, but when. All they'e done is prolong the inevitable.

Kind of sad. My first Android device was a Nook Color with CyanogenMod. It has since been returned to stock and my mom reads on it now.

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They are saddled with some great locations but that also comes at the price of some pricey real estate and crippling leases. I have always thought that the most natural thing in the world was for MS to buy B&N entirely and gut the movies/CD section along with the Nook debt and put a Microsoft store in EVERY single B&N nationwide. Several of the local B&Ns around me offered a Software Etc store within a store back in the early to mid 90s. Anyway, a MS Store within a B&N would allow them to target almost the same demographics Apple goes after with their retail stores without having to scout for, secure, and build locations. Offer a choice assortment of the best bloat-free PC hardware (tablets, laptops, accessories and maybe a few AIOs) and have the absolute best staff imaginable. Oh well!

Thats actually a pretty good idea. I have always been a fan of Barnes and Noble and their Nook business. I have the original nook eReader and hope they can pull through this slump.

Wait, what? Our local B&N doesn't sell movies and CDs. Just books, some toys/games, magazines, calendars, some small gifts and coffee.

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Nooks were nice. Had the ability to run cyanogen from so which was awesome for people to give it a try without losing their stock install. Only reason I ever would recommend one though

I for one would be sad should B&N go by the wayside. I still enjoy the fact that I can go in there and have access to a large selection of books and magazines. My 8 year old daughter loves their children's book section. I enjoy eReaders but there's just something about holding a book, turning the pages by hand, and losing yourself in a great story.

As far as their NOOK tablet line IMO they made the wall of their garden way too high. I bought one mostly for my daughter who loved the interactive children's books. As she got older she wanted more games and things for the tablet which is when the real weakness of B&N's walled garden showed up. Their app store lacked most of the current games and those that were there ended up being too expensive or ran poorly on the NOOK. The browsing and email were weak as well. IMO this is what happens when you offer a tablet that is designed by people who have eReader mentality. If they would've offered Google Play store access on their early NOOK tablets, they could've given Amazon a real run for their money. By the time they finally put it on the tablets the handwriting of failure was already on the wall. Really sad as those tablets were built pretty good. My daughter put ours through hell and it never broke.

From the Death Star using my LG G2

you're looking for a library, not a bookstore.
granted B&N has that coffee smell that can't be matched by libraries.

Yep the coffee smell works. Plus the chicks who work at B&N are way hotter than the local librarians! Seriously though I do like the library type atmosphere at B&N where I can sit and skim a book before deciding to buy it. I've also used their online purchase with store pickup which works great and it's an easy in and out for pickup.

From the Death Star using my LG G2

I use my hd + everyday. It is great for reading comics and magazines. It plays 720p videos fairly well. I am rooted running cm11. with the new runtime it is snappy and fast.

I still have (and use) my original Nook wi- fi eReader. It will be a sad day for me if it dies. I think B&N would do better to focus on quality eReaders. I will occasionally read on my tablet, but there are apps for that, so I don't see the need for a dual purpose tablet.

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The utility of the Nook comes mostly from the publications available for it. I've purchased literally hundreds of ebooks from all three major general e-book sellers (B&N, Amazon, and Kobo), and Barnes & Noble has by far the worst e-book support infrastructure of the three. Their order system routinely fails to confirm purchases by email, their giftcard system is slow and buggy, their Nook application doesn't provide a means to filter or group e-books (unlike both Kindle and Kobo), their e-book prices are nearly always 20-25% higher than Amazon... the list goes on and on.

I've spent considerable effort explaining to their customer service folks why this prevents committed e-book buyers from large-scale purchasing, but nothing ever seems to change. It's hardly any surprise that they find Nook unprofitable, and the constant stream of predictable bad news has surely made thousands of potential customers skittish about investing in DRM-protected e-books that could lose their source when it inevitably collapses.

I can only hope that some company that believes in e-media will do what Kobo did for Borders customers and take over curation of Nook media, so I won't lose the 150 or so Nook books I've already bought from B&N. I shouldn't have to play possibly illegal games with DRM removal just to be able to read material I've purchased.