January 5, 2012

Barnes & Noble Eyeing the Idea of Breaking Up With Nook

Mary Beth Quirk, writing for Consumerist:

“Even though the Nook has held its own against Amazon’s Kindle devices and the iPad, it takes a big financial investment in a product to continually update the devices and stay in that competition.”

B&N CEO William Lynch says he’s investigating “unlocking the value” the company has built with their Nook reader. That’s something we might expect to see after several years of development and retail sales. The Nook has only been on the market a little over two years, though.

What began as a competitive effort against Amazon and their Kindle device turns out to be a whole other industry (surprise!). Maybe B&N weren’t prepared for the enormity of enhancing and maintaining a hardware platform.

It'd be a shame if this were true. E-books, and the readers that can purchase and display them, are a logical step forward for traditional book stores, and a defensive position against Amazon. That Borders failed to embrace that truth is doubtless one aspect of their recent demise. Perhaps B&N will continue marketing e-books for the Nook, regardless.