Nook: Barnes & Noble will hand off tablet manufacturing to a third party

Following a shaky fourth-quarter report, B&N announced that it would be partnering with another company to release its Nook tablet line, although the bookstore chain will continue to manufacture its e-readers.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
Barnes & Noble and Samsung are releasing a co-branded tablet in August called the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook..

If you buy a Nook tablet in the future, another company name may be appearing alongside the Barnes & Noble logo on your device.

Following disappointing fourth-quarter numbers, Barnes & Noble is making yet another change and is looking to partner with another manufacturer to create its Nook tablets.

Barnes & Noble announced today that the company itself would no longer produce Nook tablet devices. It also announced that the net loss for the company, $118.6 million, was more than double the net loss for the same quarter in 2012, which came to $56.9 million. B&N in part blamed the numbers on “Nook inventory charges,” according to independent bookstore newsletter Shelf Awareness.

So Barnes & Noble will be working with another company to release the tablets, and you’ll still be able to find them in stores. Barnes & Noble will continue to produce the black-and-white e-readers such as the Nook Simple Touch.

“We are a hundred percent not exiting the device business,” Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said during a conference call, according to Fortune

According to the company’s newest numbers, sales for Nook devices fell 34 percent during the quarter.

Barnes & Noble called the as-yet-unannounced Nook tablet partner “third party manufacturers of consumer electronics products.” Will it be Microsoft? Rumors that the company was looking to buy Nook Media were quashed in May, but the company did recently invest $300 million in the Nook and college bookstore division of the company. 

B&N’s sales of digital content dropped almost 9 percent during the quarter. In a statement B&N blamed the drop on “the device sales shortfall as well as the comparison to the The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey trilogies a year ago.” 

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