17 Replies Latest reply on Jul 11, 2013 6:47 PM by Mercury_Glitch

    B&N to continue designing E-Ink NOOKs, but not manufacturing

    Doug_Pardee

      From today's press release associated with the quarterly/annual financial report:

      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.

      It's a little tricky to discern exactly what is being said there, but my reading is: B&N will continue to design eReaders but not tablets. B&N will find partners for manufacturing of the B&N-designed NOOK eReaders and for providing color tablets that will be badged with the NOOK brand.

       

      Clarification can be expected from today's conference call.

       

        • Re: B&N to continue designing E-Ink NOOKs, but not manufacturing
          keriflur

          Doug_Pardee wrote:

          It's a little tricky to discern exactly what is being said there, but my reading is: B&N will continue to design eReaders but not tablets. B&N will find partners for manufacturing of the B&N-designed NOOK eReaders and for providing color tablets that will be badged with the NOOK brand.

           


          This is how I read this, and how TheNextWeb reported it (so it sounds like that's how they interpreted it also).

           

          Discussion on the TheNextWeb article is here: http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Community-Room/Nook-future-plans-article/m-p/1463430#M36076

          • Re: B&N to continue designing E-Ink NOOKs, but not manufacturing
            Pie-Is-Tasty
            What I thought this meant was Barnes and Noble would continue to develop the eInk Nooks by themselves and would partner with another company to create Nook tablets, to put it in simple terms. Is this correct?
            • No strategy change on E-Ink NOOKs: conference call
              Doug_Pardee

              From the conference call (early transcript, could be a bit rough):

              With respect to our popular simple touch e-reader line, we plan to continue to design, innovate and launch new products. We've had the highest rate in e-readers in the market for several years and can manage this device business sufficiently. Customers who own our dedicated e-reader products like Simple Touch and Glowlight comprised the majority of our digital book sales and designing and selling these devices have been key to our digital customer acquisition and content growth model. So, our device development model on e-readers isn't changed.

               ...

              We plan to continue to design and produce the best single purposes black and white e-readers on the market...

               ...

              [from Q&A] the majority of the content sales come from non-tablets from the black-and-white eReaders ... its been our primarily customer acquisition vehicle for content.

              The key phrases I see in there: "can manage this device business sufficiently," "comprised the majority of our digital book sales," "our device development model on e-readers isn't changed."

               

              "Too bad those devices aren't great for magazines." — things not said.

               

                • Re: No strategy change on E-Ink NOOKs: conference call
                  MacMcK1957

                  Customers who own our dedicated e-reader products like Simple Touch and Glowlight comprised the majority of our digital book sales...

                   

                  I've long suspected this, but don't think I've ever seen it confirmed before.

                    • Re: No strategy change on E-Ink NOOKs: conference call
                      Mercury_Glitch

                      MacMcK1957 wrote:

                      Customers who own our dedicated e-reader products like Simple Touch and Glowlight comprised the majority of our digital book sales...

                       

                      I've long suspected this, but don't think I've ever seen it confirmed before.


                       

                      I psuedo confirmed it based on my experiences with peoples devices.  But it's nice to know that what I was seeing was reflective of a larger picture.  It's also nice having an official statement to point to.

                        • Re: No strategy change on E-Ink NOOKs: conference call
                          keriflur

                          Mercury_Glitch wrote:

                          MacMcK1957 wrote:

                          Customers who own our dedicated e-reader products like Simple Touch and Glowlight comprised the majority of our digital book sales...

                           

                          I've long suspected this, but don't think I've ever seen it confirmed before.


                           

                          I psuedo confirmed it based on my experiences with peoples devices.  But it's nice to know that what I was seeing was reflective of a larger picture.  It's also nice having an official statement to point to.


                          This doesn't surprise me at all.  I'm glad they've done the math on it.  I'm also glad they've finally given official word that there *is* a new eink nook coming, and that (they believe) it will be something of a leader in the device race.

                           

                          This is enough to convince me to hold off on buying the Aura.  Hopefully B&N can come through on this one.

                          • Re: No strategy change on E-Ink NOOKs: conference call
                            whiteginger

                            Mercury_Glitch wrote:

                            MacMcK1957 wrote:

                            Customers who own our dedicated e-reader products like Simple Touch and Glowlight comprised the majority of our digital book sales...

                             

                            I've long suspected this, but don't think I've ever seen it confirmed before.


                             

                            I psuedo confirmed it based on my experiences with peoples devices.  But it's nice to know that what I was seeing was reflective of a larger picture.  It's also nice having an official statement to point to.


                            I am an NST owner who also owns N1E, NC, HD+, and HD.  My library is huge--most of it NookBooks.  I wonder if I am considered in that "majority of our digital book sales" figure?  I read on all devices about equally. 

                              • Re: No strategy change on E-Ink NOOKs: conference call
                                keriflur

                                whiteginger wrote:

                                Mercury_Glitch wrote:

                                MacMcK1957 wrote:

                                Customers who own our dedicated e-reader products like Simple Touch and Glowlight comprised the majority of our digital book sales...

                                 

                                I've long suspected this, but don't think I've ever seen it confirmed before.


                                 

                                I psuedo confirmed it based on my experiences with peoples devices.  But it's nice to know that what I was seeing was reflective of a larger picture.  It's also nice having an official statement to point to.


                                I am an NST owner who also owns N1E, NC, HD+, and HD.  My library is huge--most of it NookBooks.  I wonder if I am considered in that "majority of our digital book sales" figure?  I read on all devices about equally. 


                                I would assume that you are.

                                • Re: No strategy change on E-Ink NOOKs: conference call
                                  Mercury_Glitch
                                  I imagine they look at overall device downloads statistics rather than purchases from devices.
                                    • Re: No strategy change on E-Ink NOOKs: conference call
                                      keriflur

                                      Mercury_Glitch wrote:
                                      I imagine they look at overall device downloads statistics rather than purchases from devices.

                                      I would expect that they would look at two additional figures - in-device purchases, and overall purchases by e-ink owners.  I would also expect that e-ink purchases exceed that of native nook store purchases on LCD devices, and that overall purchases by e-ink owners (regardless of additional devices) highly exceed that of customers that do not own an e-ink device.

                                        • Re: No strategy change on E-Ink NOOKs: conference call
                                          MacMcK1957

                                          I hardly ever purchse anything from the Nook itself, maybe once or twice a year at most.  But I suspect that Keri's point is correct, people who have an e-ink device and download to an e-ink device, regardless of what other devices they may also use, buy a lot more books than people who only have the other devices. 

                                           

                                          It makes sense.  If you bought a tablet it could be for all sorts of purposes, only one of which is reading books.  If you bought an NST, you only got it for one thing.

                              • Re: B&N to continue designing E-Ink NOOKs, but not manufacturing

                                I just purchased a NOOK tablet & am excited! Today I read on yahoo that BN is about to go under soon! One of the attractions to the NOOK was that you could get real live in-store tech support plus free book every Fri. what gives? I'm thinking on sending the product back :smileysad:

                                • Re: B&N to continue designing E-Ink NOOKs, but not manufacturing

                                  Doug_Pardee wrote:

                                  From today's press release associated with the quarterly/annual financial report:

                                  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.

                                  It's a little tricky to discern exactly what is being said there, but my reading is: B&N will continue to design eReaders but not tablets. B&N will find partners for manufacturing of the B&N-designed NOOK eReaders and for providing color tablets that will be badged with the NOOK brand.

                                   

                                  Clarification can be expected from today's conference call.

                                   


                                  Tricky to discern? The quote text says precisely what you give as your reading. The quote text says "Nook" brand tablets will be like Google Nexus tablets, while "Nook" brand eInk readers will be designed by B&N and manufactured under license as they are presently.

                                   

                                  Given that the media tablet market has caught up to B&N's needs, it makes a lot more sense to shop around for the best bang for the buck "Nook Tablet" rather than continuing development of media tablets in house.

                                   

                                    • Re: B&N to continue designing E-Ink NOOKs, but not manufacturing
                                      MacMcK1957
                                      I still think that B&N (and for that matter Amazon) haven't fully exploited the possibilities of e-ink. I know tons of people like myself who have a tablet of some sort but still use an e-ink device as their primary reader. Yet I also know a ton of people with tablets who aren't even aware that e-ink exists as a separate technology with very different qualities. Except for one commercial a few years ago about reading in the sun, I don't think either company really publicized the differences well.
                                        • Re: B&N to continue designing E-Ink NOOKs, but not manufacturing
                                          Mercury_Glitch

                                          MacMcK1957 wrote:
                                          I still think that B&N (and for that matter Amazon) haven't fully exploited the possibilities of e-ink. I know tons of people like myself who have a tablet of some sort but still use an e-ink device as their primary reader. Yet I also know a ton of people with tablets who aren't even aware that e-ink exists as a separate technology with very different qualities. Except for one commercial a few years ago about reading in the sun, I don't think either company really publicized the differences well.

                                           

                                          Amazon did some reading in the sun commercials back when the 7" tablet was still being slammed as a non-money maker.  I don't recall any B&N commercials for the NST, thought the NSTG did have some cheesy ad aimed at married couples which ran for a short time (I never saw it outside of my store).  And after that I've yet to see either company run ads for their eink devices.

                                           

                                          Even Kobo, who seem to see value in eink don't seem to advertise in the US, I can't speak for outside of the US since I haven't traveled outside of the US recently. 

                                           

                                          I totally agree that both companies have dropped the ball on this technology.  It's a cheaper device to produce, and has a lot of benefits that the LCD devices can't touch.  The Kobo Auru shows that eink can give the LCD devices a run for their money in terms of resolution, though the refresh rate still prevents media (I believe, in my search for reviews of the Aura none mentioned the refresh rate being beyond outstanding, instead they said it was in line with other eink devices). 

                                           

                                          I can understand Amazon not really focusing on eink, they aren't a bookstore first and foremost.  The more media they can deliver to a device, the more deals they can offer in packages like Amazon Prime.  B&N is a bookstore first and foremost, it makes sense for them to focus on the device that's designed for reading as their primary device.  Throw in some extra features, provided they can be done well and don't otherwise detract from the functions of the device, improve the hardware so it's at least competitive with the competition (Kobo Aura, KPW), and market it.  Get ads in the papers, put commercials on TV, act like a company that sells a product rather than a company that provides a medium to buy other peoples products.