Tablets

Barnes & Noble closes the book on the Nook

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Nook Tablet

General failure of Android-powered Nook tablet line accelerated executive's exit

Following a slow and steady drumbeat of bad news associated with its Nook hardware division, William Lynch has resigned as CEO of Barnes & Noble, effective immediately. Lynch had been CEO of Barnes & Noble since March 2010, continuing a career of employment at various companies in the technology space prior to being chief executive of B&N. In the three years since taking the helm, B&N has seen the slight rise and sharp fall of its Nook hardware division, which failed to make much of a splash in the tablet market for a variety of reasons.

As the company sees continual drops in sales from many parts of its business, B&N has indicated for some time now that it is done making its own hardware and would prefer another company buy out that division completely. The prices on remaining stock of its latest Nook HD and HD+ tablets continue to drop, and aside from the last-ditch addition of the Google Play Store on the tablets there is no indication of any further software development either.

Barnes & Noble has yet to name a permanent replacement for Lynch, and has instead placed current CFO Michael Huseby at the helm of both Nook Media LLC and Barnes & Noble. It's a shame to see a big name drop out of the tablet game, but that's competition for you. Let's hope another company can step in in its place.

Source: WSJ

 
There are 12 comments

jwyche007 says:

Sorry but that's what they get for making a subpart tablet and expecting to compete with stuff like the nexus and kindle fires. If your going to make a budget tablet sell it at a budget price. Also don't overestimate your own companies brand recognition, nobody gives a crap this thing is from Barnes and Noble, and nobody wants your crappy app store.

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D-Caf says:

I respectively disagree. The Nook HD+ is superior hardware wise to the Kindle Fire, and though not as versatile as the Nexus 7, the screen and battery life are incredible in comparison.

The hardware was good, the execution not so good. They should have had Google Play from the beginning instead of trying to do their own app store. They should have concentrated on books, music, and video to compete against Amazon.

They just tried to have it all, with out having the deep pockets or net know how as Amazon did. Neither the Nexus nor the Kindle killed the Nook, it was Barnes and Noble's failure to deal with Amazon's name and content.

natefish says:

Also disagreeing. If you think the Nook HD is subpar, you need to go compare specs to other devices released at the time. Nexus 7 was the one truly better and it was priced accordingly. For the price, the Nook HD and HD+ are better hardware (especially screen res) and more open android experiences than their Amazon counterparts and many other tablets. And, I don't have to pay $80 a year for a tablet I already paid $200 for. The biggest mistake B&N made was not giving users the Play store from the beginning. Now that it's there, I can get all of my Google Apps and an excellent reading experience.

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Eric Rossman says:

I will miss the Nook lineup, I was always happy with the B&N product even without Google apps (not the case with today's Nook HD+, but when I purchased).

My Nexus 7 with the Nook app is just so convenient that I put down the Nook-color. Until the N7, my nook was it for me. At the time of purchase, it outclassed the competition. My Nook still has the unlimited AT&T data account as well (where you pay a one-time setup cost at purchase, and have 3G data for the product life).

Hopefully B&N can save the brick and mortar storefronts. They would have to subsidize from the still lucrative digital publications revenue, as book stores are losing interest.

BrianBaker says:

So now they want to mention android in under the hood after it fails... Or was that the Kindle?

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bart001 says:

The Nook HD is a steal right now.

natefish says:

Yep. Just got one for my son for $110

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hodan says:

The only thing that can save B&N now is their educational books. No way digital can compete with Amazon and they can't figure out a way to save retail...I think there's space for another audiobook company but they won't do it. It's really sad to see them slowly dying.

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zachavm says:

Yeah, this is probably the death of the company. When the prices dropped I went out and bought an HD+ right away. Its wonderful with CyanogenMod and the DPI changed. Only thing I miss is a brightness sensor. Don't know why they left that out.

Necrosis says:

Amazon's app/video content eventually killed the Nook tablet. I hope they keep up w/ their e-ink Nooks, I could see Amazon drastically raising their prices after the Nooks are depleted despite the existence of the Nexus 7. Not sure but I've always preferred the Nooks; I must prefer underdogs.

I will say my local B/N is always packed.

gregs1213 says:

Got a HD+ for $150... Great deal if you want to run CM10.1 on it..

jedi105 says:

Its a shame that B&N has failed in this market. They should have had it made because the Nook HD+ was a very good piece of hardware. Their mistake was the app store. First, keeping Google from the device was just stupid. Making apps that were free in google app store paid apps in their store was even more stupid. Adding that fat lethargic skin to Android was another blunder. And the price, well, that was just arrogance. It really is a shame. I actually had the OG Nook and I used that thing every day for 2 years. I loved being able to read out in the sun while others ran for cover. Unfortunately, considering thier reluctance to price their Nook books competitively, Barnes and Noble is a dead horse.