B&N Nook Tablet

Barnes & Noble may be aiming to lower the investment it puts into its Nook hardware efforts, sources of the New York Times report. Following less than stellar results in its Nook division -- which encompasses e-readers, tablets and e-book sales -- B&N executives are looking into the amount of money they spend on devices that aren't directly profitable. The Nook tablets, which are well known for being cheap for their hardware and relatively easy to hack, are simply too low margin for the nation's largest book chain to be focusing on.

“They are not completely getting out of the hardware business, but they are going to lean a lot more on the comprehensive digital catalog of content,” reports the unnamed source.

The hope going forward, it seems, will be for B&N to focus on licensing its software and content to other manufacturers to take advantage of. This is a complete turn-around from last year, when the book giant expressed that Nook was to be the future of its business. It's also interesting to look at in comparison to Amazon, which seems quite content selling hardware at break-even (or even loss) prices to push sales of digital content. Companies can only take initiatives so far before they need to consider the bottom line, though.

Source: New York Times