According to a report by the New York Times, struggling bookmonger Barnes & Noble might be about to shelve its Nook ereader. The problem is one more common to physical books than tablets: nobody is buying them.
The Nook is not going to disappear entirely, even if Barnes & Noble disengages from the hardware side of things. According to the New York Times report, the company is instead considering cutting its losses and focusing on content deals with Microsoft, Samsung and other companies with more tablet clout.
While it might keep B&N from haemorrhaging more money, it’s also a very large white flag and an early signal that the tablet and ereader pie isn’t big enough for everyone to have a slice.
Update: A Barnes & Noble spokesperson reached out with the following comment:
To be clear, we have no plans to discontinue our award-winning line of NOOK products.
Which is certainly in line with the New York Times report. Not discontinuing still leaves plenty of room for paring down.