In a Barnes & Noble company meeting CEO Len Riggio told shareholders that Nook was out of the technology business. According to Publisher’s Weekly, “Riggio explained that when e-book sales began exploding several years ago, B&N felt it had no choice but to enter the digital market. In retrospect, Riggio said, B&N didn’t have the culture or financing to compete with the likes of Amazon and Google.”
B&N will continue selling digital books and devices to read them on – primarily Samsung tablets – but this means that they will no longer produce the Nook as a standalone product. B&N will continue to focus on physical stores and will “partner with technology companies” to maintain a loose foothold in e-books.
Interestingly there is still a fairly solid following for Nook products, a sign that the underdog e-readers and tablets held a special place in readers’ hearts. The only true Nook device, the Glowlight, is still for sale and Nook software is still available on specially branded Samsung tablets.
The Nook had a long, fruitful run, appearing first in 2009 as a unique LCD/e-ink hybrid device. The Digital Reader believes that existing Nook users will be transferred to Kobo, a competing e-book service.