Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) announced Tuesday that it would no longer be manufacturing Nook tablets. Citing mounting losses on the tablet, the company said third-party companies will take over the production of Nook.
“The company plans to significantly reduce losses in the Nook segment by limiting risks associated with manufacturing. Going forward, the company intends to continue to design eReading devices and reading platforms, while creating a partnership model for manufacturing in the competitive color tablet market. Thus, the widely popular lines of Simple Touch and Glowlight products will continue to be developed in house, and the company's tablet line will be co-branded with yet to be announced third party manufacturers of consumer electronics products.”
In its fourth quarter, Nook revenues dropped 34 percent to $108 million, and Nook revenues fell 16.8 percent for fiscal 2013. Overall, Barnes & Noble saw a 16.2 percent rise in sales of media, including music, books and digital content, but saw an 8.9 percent slide for the quarter. Barnes & Noble blamed this slide on a drop in Nook sales.
Barnes & Noble will continue to sell its existing inventory of Nook devices in stores through the holiday season. It also pledged to continue customer support in stores and offer software upgrades in the digital store.
Barnes & Noble did not name which company would take over Nook. There have been rumors that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which invested in Nook in April 2012, is interested in purchasing the tablet brand.