American bookseller Barnes & Noble will no longer be producing its own Nook Android tablets, as the company looks to spin off manufacturing of the devices to third parties.
In a statement accompanying its quarterly financial results on 25 June, the company said it will no longer produce the Nook tablet range, including the Nook HD and larger Nook HD+, both of which recently gained access to the Google Play store and a hefty price cut.
B&N said it would be transitioning to a "partnership model for manufacturing in the competitive colour tablet market," in a move that will reduce costs by limiting "risks associated with manufacturing."
The fourth quarter financial results for B&N reveal a 34% drop in revenue for the Nook division compared to the same quarter last year. Nook tablets will continue to be sold through 2013 until stock has been shifted, and B&N promises it will continue to offer "world-class pre-and post-sales support" along with software updates and improvements to the Nook digital bookstore.
Moving to third-party manufacturing will see any future Nook tablets produced by other companies, similar to how Google outsources its Nexus products, resulting in Asus building the Nexus 7 and LG being responsible for the Nexus 4.
Discontinuing production of the Nook Android tablets will not affect B&N's Simple Touch and Glowlight ebook readers, which will continue to be developed in-house.
William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble, said in a statement: "Our retail and college business delivered strong financial performances in fiscal year 2013. We are taking big steps to reduce the losses in the Nook segment, as we move to the partner-centric model in tablets and reduce overhead costs.
"We plan to continue to innovate in the single purpose black-and-white eReader category, and the underpinning of our strategy remains the same...which is to offer customers any digital book, magazine or newspaper, on any device."