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July 9, 2013

Barnes & Noble CEO Resigns Amidst Nook Troubles

Nook HD

Barnes & Noble today announced that its director and CEO, William Lynch, has resigned, effective immediately.

Going forward, Michael P. Huseby will serve as CEO of Nook Media and president of Barnes & Noble, Inc. Huseby joined B&N in March 2012 as chief financial officer and previously held positions at Cablevision, Charter Communications, and AT&T Broadband.

"I appreciate the opportunity to serve as CEO of this terrific company over the last three years," Lynch said in a statement. "There is a great executive team and board in place at Barnes & Noble, and I look forward to the many innovations the company will be bringing to its millions of physical and digital media customers in the future."

Max J. Roberts, CEO of B&N College, will remain the head of the company's digital education strategy and report to Huseby, as will the rest of the Nook Media team. Huseby and Mitchell Klipper, CEO of the Barnes & Noble Retail Group, will report to Leonard Riggio, executive chairman of Barnes & Noble, Inc.



June 25, 2013

Barnes & Noble Looks to Ditch Nook Tablet Business

Nook HDBarnes & Noble is looking to hand its struggling Nook tablet division to a third party, the retailer announced today.

The Nook segment - which includes devices, digital content, and accessories - earned $108 million during the quarter and $776 million in the last year, down 34 percent and 16.8 percent, respectively. In an effort to stop hemorrhaging money, Barnes & Noble plans to continue development of its e-reader devices (Nook Simple Touch and Glowlight ), but will farm out its tablet line to a yet-to-be-announced third-party manufacturer.

"We are taking big steps to reduce the losses in the Nook segment, as we move to a partner-centric model in tablets and reduce overhead costs," B&N CEO William Lynch said in a statement. "We plan to continue to innovate in the single purpose black-and-white eReader category, and the underpinning of our strategy remains the same today as it has since we entered the digital market, which is to offer customers any digital book, magazine or newspaper, on any device."

News reports are dropping Microsoft's name as the mysterious force set to take over the Nook tablet lineup, which makes sense, since Redmond invested $300 million last year for a 17.6 percent stake in the Nook business. The firms' newly formed venture, Nook Media, debuted in early October.



June 11, 2013

Report: Barnes & Noble Retires PC, Mac Nook Apps

Barnes & Noble Logo

Barnes & Noble has reportedly ditched its Nook apps for PC and Mac in favor of Web-based reading on the computer.

According to The Digital Reader and theeBookReader.com, B&N removed the apps from its website about a month ago, and is directing PC users to access Nook e-books via the new Windows 8 app or through Nook for Web.

Barnes & Noble did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment, but confirmed the news to The Digital Reader, which noted that B&N last updated its PC app in Nov. 2011 and the Mac version in March 2012.

Still, customers noticed the change, with some wondering on the Nook Apps forum "What happened to the Nook for Mac and Nook for PC apps?"

"[In my opinion] this is all a bit strange," user keriflur wrote in another forum on Thursday, adding that they haven't been able to read newly downloaded books on the Nook for Web feature.

"For me, this is a good reason to buy books from Google Play, as their web app actually lets me read everything I buy, they have apps for all my devices, and I can sideload to my [Nook Simple Touch]," keriflur said. "Right now, I can't read my B&N books on my work laptop or my Mac, so why should I buy more?"



June 10, 2013

Barnes & Noble Slashes Nook HD Prices for Father’s Day

Nook HDStill pondering what to get your dad for Father's Day? You only have a few more days, so you better step to it.

Instead of visiting pops empty-handed on Sunday, why not bring along a shiny new tablet? Barnes & Noble is making that an alluring option with a new one-week promotion offering $70 to $120 off its Nook HD and Nook HD + tablets.

You can now get your hands on the entry-level Nook HD tablet, which has a 7-inch screen and offers 8GB of storage in either white or black, for just $129 plus free shipping. That's a pretty great discount, considering the device is typically priced at $199. The 16GB variant, meanwhile, will set you back $149 this week, down from $229.

If you think dad would want a bigger screen, you might consider the Nook HD+, which sports a 9-inch display. Barnes & Noble is now offering the 16GB Nook HD+ for just $149, down 44 percent from its original price of $269. If he also needs more storage, the 32GB iteration is priced at $179, down from $299.

The offer is valid online and in stores until June 17. The sale comes after Barnes & Noble last month dropped the price of its Nook devices for Mother's Day. This time around, the deals are even better.

Whether or not this encourages more consumers to pick up a Nook remains to be seen. The 2012 holiday season was rather disappointing for Barnes & Noble's Nook division, which dropped 12.6 percent over the same time period in 2011.



February 25, 2013

Barnes & Noble Founder Wants to Buy Retail Business, Dump Nook

Barnes & Noble Logo

Barnes & Noble has managed to survive where one-time rivals like Borders couldn't, but the world's largest brick-and-mortar bookseller may experience a shake-up of its own soon. The company announced Monday that founder Leonard Riggio hopes to purchase Barnes & Noble's retail business and take it private while leaving behind its floundering Nook division.

Riggio, the chain's founder, largest stockholder, and chairman of the company's board, is looking to buy both the Barnes & Noble Booksellers brick-and-mortar business and Barnesandnoble.com, according to an SEC filing.

The company's e-book, e-reader, and tablet division, Nook Media, would apparently be spun off or possibly even shut down if the deal comes to pass. The Barnes & Noble board's strategic committee must still review the plan and the company said in a statement that there is no timetable for that happening yet.

If a deal is approved, the purchase price would be negotiated with the board and would likely be made primarily in cash, the company said. A Barnes & Noble spokesperson declined to comment further.

The Nook debuted in late 2009 as serious competition for the Amazon Kindle, but with an influx of tablet-based devices in recent years, Barnes & Noble's lineup of gadgets got lost in the shuffle. The Kindle remains the top-selling dedicated e-reader, and Apple's iPad reigns over the tablet competition, the New York Times pointed out.



January 3, 2013

Barnes & Noble Nook Shunned by Holiday Shoppers

Barnes & Noble Logo

While the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire filled many a stocking this holiday season, it appears the Barnes & Noble Nook was largely left out in the cold.

According to data released today by Barnes & Noble, sales of Nook products took a tumble during the nine-week period ending Dec. 29.

The company's retail arm, which includes the brick-and-mortar stores and BN.com businesses, dropped 10.9 percent over the same time period in 2011. Barnes & Noble blamed the slump on an 8 percent decline in comparable store sales and closures, as well as lower online sales. The Nook segment, meanwhile, "fell short of the company's expectations," Barnes & Noble said, dropping 12.6 percent. While sales of digital content - like apps, e-books, and magazines - were up 13.1 percent, Nook device sales "declined during the holiday period as compared to the prior year," the company said, without elaborating.

"We entered the holiday with two great new products, Nook HD and Nook HD+, both highly rated media tablets of phenomenal quality," B&N CEO William Lynch said in a statement. "Nook device sales got off to a good start over the Black Friday period, but then fell short of expectations for the balance of holiday. We are examining the root cause of the December shortfall in sales, and will adjust our strategies accordingly going forward."



August 12, 2012

Barnes & Noble Cuts Prices on Nook Tablets

Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire

Ka-pow! That's the sound Barnes & Noble just made as it slashed the prices on its three, seven-inch Nook Tablets. In other words, the company isn't ready to throw in the towel against Amazon's mighty Kindle Fire tablets or Google's recently released Nexus 7 device.

The move dropped the cost of the 16-gigabyte Nook Tablet by 20%, or $50, to a final total of $199. The eight gigabyte version received a $20 cut to a final price of $179 – same for the Nook Color, which dropped $20 to $149.

The 16-gigabyte Nook Tablet now equals the cost of Google's eight-gigabyte Nexus 7 and Amazon's eight-gigabyte Kindle Fire. However, it remains to be seen as to just how long Barnes & Noble's price advantage will work, especially given that new devices are rumored to be arriving from Amazon rather soon.

Talk around the Internet town has tapped August as the release month for Amazon's Kindle Fire 2, a seven-inch tablet that's expected to come in two varieties: One with a 1,024-by-600 resolution and no camera attached, and one with a 1,200-by-800 resolution and camera. Both devices should feature the same 216 pixel-per-inch density as Google's Nexus 7 – up around 40 pixels-per-inch from the first iteration of Amazon's Kindle Fire.



June 14, 2012

iPad Dominates, But Nook Web Traffic Tops Kindle Fire

Chitika June Tablet Stats Not surprisingly, the iPad continued to dominate tablet traffic during the first week of June, but more notable is the fact that traffic for the Barnes & Noble Nook surpassed that of the Amazon Kindle Fire, according to stats from mobile ad network Chitika.

Apple's iPad made up 91.07 percent of the hundreds of millions of impressions captured on the Chitika Ad network between June 4 and June 10. That was down 3.5 percent from May, but still a sizeable chunk, Chitika said.

Coming in at No. 2 was Samsung's Galaxy Tab, but it was a distant second. Samsung's tablet only had 1.77 percent of the market, followed by the Acer Iconia Tab, Toshiba Thrive, and Asus Transformer Prime, which captured between 1 and 1.5 percent market share.

Chitika, however, took note of the fifth most popular tablet - the Barnes & Noble Nook. The retailer's device captured 0.85 percent of the market, which bested Amazon's Kindle Fire at 0.71 percent.

"Barnes & Noble has launched a new advertising campaign, and their newest device sold out within weeks," Chitika said. "While that device is a simple e-reader without Web browsing capabilities, the increase in Nook use may be attributed to brand familiarity through these advertisements."



February 21, 2012

Barnes & Noble Targets Kindle Fire With 8GB Nook Tablet

Nook Tablet

Barnes & Noble on Tuesday unveiled an 8GB version of its Nook Tablet for $199 and dropped the price of its Nook Color e-reader to $169.

The storage capacity and price of the new Nook Tablet brings it in line with its biggest rival, the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Just like the original, 16GB Nook Tablet, the 8GB is expandable up to 32GB via a microSD card slot. The 8GB boasts 512MB of RAM, however, down from the 1GB on 16GB Nook Tablet.

For those with a lot of content, that 32GB upgrade might be necessary. At this point, an 8GB Nook Tablet will provide 1.5GB of storage for onboard Barnes & Noble content and 4GB of side-loaded personal files, like music, videos, or PDFs, though content can also be accessed via Nook Cloud for those with an Internet connection.

For the $249 16GB version, meanwhile, Barnes & Noble announced plans for a March software update that will allow users to flip their tablet's storage allocation. Users will have the option for 5.5GB of Barnes & Noble content and 8GB for personal content. When it's available, users can bring their Nook to a Barnes & Noble store for the update. After that, users can choose which storage option they want when purchasing the 16GB Nook Tablet.

The 8GB Nook Tablet is available now via nook.com and in Barnes & Noble stores and will be available at retailers like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart in the coming weeks.

The $169 Nook Color is also available now at Barnes & Noble stores and online.



January 30, 2012

Report: New Barnes & Noble Nook Coming This Spring

Less than a month after the announcement that Barnes & Noble is considering spinning off its Nook business comes a rumor that the company is working on a new Nook device.

In a Sunday article detailing Barnes & Noble's battle with Amazon, the New York Times hinted at a new e-reader that could appear within the next few months.

"Barnes & Noble is trying to strike at Amazon with another device," the article reads. "At its labs in Silicon Valley last week, engineers were putting final touches on their fifth e-reading device, a product that executives said would be released sometime this spring. (A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman declined to elaborate)."

Barnes & Noble did not immediately respond to questions from PCMag. It's unclear whether the gadget would be another e-reader or a tablet.

It's possible B&N will slough off the Nook section of its business soon. CEO William Lynch said earlier this month that the company believes "it's the right time to investigate [its] options to unlock [the value]" of the Nook brand.