Nook Sales Decline, Can Full Color Model Save the Brand?

Published On March 25, 2014 | Electronics

The eReader has had a great influence on the way we read. We can take virtual libraries with us on the go and select from countless volumes of books we wish to read. Knowledge no longer has to be as heavy as shelves upon shelves of weighty books. Now we carry libraries in our pockets.

One of the chief players in this digital revolution was Barnes & Noble’s Nook. Once the pinnacle of eReader development, the Nook has experienced a decline in popularity and experienced an usurping of its throne. The big question then is whether or not the makers of the Nook can engineer a return to greatness.

In the most recent financial quarter, the Nook’s reported revenue was down 50.4 percent with device sales suffering a 58.2 percent decline over the previous year. Even digital content sales saw a 26.5 percent decline to $57 million.

Also, during the quarter in question, approximately 190 digital jobs were cut. Such job cuts coupled with failing numbers like these would seem to be an indication of the decline of Barnes & Noble’s Nook device. But Barnes & Noble is not ready to relinquish its claim to the throne entirely.

According to Michael P. Huseby, the Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, the bookseller is in discussions with leading device developers and is readying a release of a brand new Nook color device in early 2015. Barnes & Noble has not been very precise with its tablet strategies since last year’s departure of the previous CEO, William Lynch.

However, the launch of a new color device produced by a third party would play into Huseby’s goal of reducing the risk of the Nook’s business plan by decreasing in-house development costs. But will this be enough?

The losses, according to Barnes & Noble, are the product of selling through its existing product line and not introducing anything new to the marketplace.

At one point in time, Barnes & Noble was the key player in the media tablet game. Now, products such as the Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, and countless inexpensive Android tablets have toppled Barnes & Noble from the throne. Though it intends to introduce its new color Nook, the bookseller is fighting an uphill battle; one that it is not likely to win.

The eReader is likely to become a mainstay of popular culture, if it has not become one already. Competition will continue to force innovation in forthcoming models. Now, more than ever before, if it wishes to reclaim its former glory, Barnes & Noble will likely have to re-revolutionize the industry and come up with a product that redefines what the media tablet can be.

– By Tim Alan



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