The Nook HD and Nook HD+ were Barnes and Nobles attempt at a Kindle Fire killer. Like Amazon, the company locked down the Android operating system so that users couldn’t install anything from the Google Play store. A couple of months ago it reversed that decision, but it was too little too late.
Over Christmas last year, Nook tablets claimed less than 2 per cent of market share, and its revenues have been steadily falling since. It’s now going to stop making the Nook HD and Nook HD+, but it says it will still work with other tablet manufacturers on Nook branded devices.
One big surprise is the continuation of the Nook e-reader. After Barnes and Noble slashed prices for the Simple Touch and Simple Touch Glow, many analysts felt that its days were numbered. But, for now, the Simple Touch range is safe. We may even see an updated version of the Simple Touch in due course.
Like many other companies, Barnes and Noble has realised that the most lucrative part of the tablet market is the content rather than the hardware. It’s planning to expand its range of apps for mobile devices, and it will continue to push sales of digital books, something that it seems to be much better at anyway. Many of the biggest content providers are moving towards the sale of textbooks and educational material, and this is a market Barnes and Noble would be far more comfortable with.
In the meantime, we’re keeping our eyes peeled for a price crash on the Nook HD and HD+ tablets on our side of the pond. They’ve been marked down to $130 and $150 in the US, but the cheapest one we can find at a typical UK retailer costs £129. Bear in mind that Nook may not support the devices forever, but if you’re looking for a rootable tablet, the Nook is still an attractive device – even more so if the company starts selling them off.