B&N may spin off Nook eReader lineup

We all knew the eReader would again be one of the most gifted gadgets of the year during the 2011 holiday season, especially with all the buzz surrounding the Amazon Kindle Fire and Apple’s Pad 2.

Barnes & Noble wanted some of that eReader action and launched a couple products in time for the holiday season, including the Nook Tablet which competes against the Fire.

Barnes & Noble is now talking about how many of the Nook devices it sold over the nine weeks ending on December 31.

According to the bookseller, it saw sales of its eReader Nook line increase 70% compared to the holiday season of 2010.

However, the company did note sales of its Nook Simple Touch were below expectations.

The upside? B&N reported selling more Nook Tablets than expected – which it sees as a clear consumer preference for color screens.


The Nook line as a whole did so well for Barnes & Noble that the corporation is now mulling over the possibility of spinning the Nook line off. To be sure, B&N recently confirmed it was “reviewing” the notion. 

“We see substantial value in what we’ve built with our Nook business in only two years, and we believe it’s the right time to investigate our options to unlock that value. In Nook, we’ve established one of the world’s best retail platforms for the sale of digital copyright content,” said B&N CEO William Lynch.

“We have a large and growing installed base of millions of satisfied customers buying digital content from us, and we have a Nook business that’s growing rapidly year-over-year and should be approximately $1.5 billion in comparable sales this fiscal year. Between continued projected growth in the U.S., and the opportunity for Nook internationally in the next 12 months, we expect the business to continue to scale rapidly for the foreseeable future.”


It appears that while the Nook and digital content sales that go along with it are doing quite well, perhaps the traditional book business is making the popular segments of the B&N world look bad. 

This is an interesting prospect, though.

Then again, I don’t really see the Nook Tablet as having a fighting chance against the Fire or the iPad 2. I think the Nook Tablet could land itself in a solid third place though, at least until the rumored Google 7-inch tablet arrives.