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Barnes & Noble could be dropping the Nook tablet and eBook reader range

Published 
25 Feb 2013
Nook SimpleTouch with GlowLight

Barns & Noble could be dropping the Nook series of eReaders and tablets, after sales failed to live up to expectations

Barnes & Noble is rumoured to be considering an exit from the eReader business, less than six months after launching its Nook products in the UK.

Barnes & Noble's Nook family, which includes the Kindle Fire HD-like Nook HD and Nook Simple Touch Glowlight, were launched as a direct response to the success of Amazon's Kindle family of eReaders and tablets. While relatively popular in the US, a long delay before launching in the UK helped Amazon gain a foothold that Barnes & Noble has struggled to dent - and that disparity of popularity is now extending to other markets.

The company's latest financial report includes major losses in its Nook Media arm, with sources suggesting that the problem is large enough the company is considering abandoning the Nook product line altogether.

According to unnamed sources discussing the matter with the New York Times, Barnes & Noble is mulling the possibility of ditching its Nook hardware in favour of a software-only approach that would see Nook-branded eReader software licensed to third-party manufacturers. The Nook Store, which provides eBook content to Nook owners, would stay, but the hardware would disappear from the market with Nook software instead being used to access the content from Android, iOS and Windows RT tablet devices.

For Barnes & Noble, the move - if true - is a major change in direction, and brings Amazon one step closer to complete domination of the eReader market.

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