As a means to minimize the company’s loses, Barnes & Noble has announced that it will discontinue making its own color tablets in favor of partnering with a third-party manufacturer. This news comes on the heels of the company dropping the price on the Nook HD from $199 to $129 and the Nook HD+ from $269 to $149. The recent fiscal report from B&N also revealed the company has lost 7.4 percent in revenue over the previous year.
The Nook Simple Touch and Simple Touch with GlowLight will continue to be made by Barnes & Noble. However, the bookseller said that for the color tablets the company will create “a partnership model for manufacturing in the competitive color tablet market.” The announcement went on to say that the “company’s tablet line will be co-branded with yet to be announced third-party manufactuers of consumer electronics products.”
Barnes & Noble expects to continue to sell is Nook HD and Nook HD+ devices through the holidays. Over the last year, this segment’s revenue decreased by 16.8 percent, but digital content sales increased by 16.2 percent.
We’re very curious to see who the company will partner with for this tablet business, particularly considering the rumors of a Microsoft buy-out last month. Last spring, Microsoft and Barnes & Noble teamed up on the e-book business when the software giant invested $300 million. However, now that Microsoft is focusing on its own Surface slates, the next Nook tablets will likely come from another partner.