Once again, Barnes & Noble is taking the opposite path from that expected—at least as far as a Good e-Reader survey is concerned.
Michael Kozlowski reports on a Good e–Reader online poll of 717 people, in which a majority of those surveyed thought Barnes & Noble would stop selling tablets. Adding up the multiple-choice categories, we see that over 56% of the people surveyed thought B&N would stop selling tablets, and a fraction of a percent more thought it would stop selling e-readers. About 30% thought Barnes & Noble would stop selling e-books altogether (though only about 2% thought it would stop do so without giving up on e-readers and tablets too). About 31% thought Barnes & Noble would continue as it is.
If you were inclined to express doubt in the validity of conclusions from a self-selected onlline survey of fewer than a thousand people, you could be right. As it turns out, it may be that the 31% minority is correct. An SEC filing Nate Hoffelder dug up at The Digital Reader shows Barnes & Noble entering into a $30 million, three-year contract extending its sale of Nook-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets in Barnes & Noble stores.
Essentially, Barnes & Noble is going to have to sell $10 million worth of each tablet each year—tens of thousands of tablets—or make up any shortfalls out of its own pocket.
That $10 million represents a considerable reduction in commitment from the original million-tablet goal Barnes & Noble agreed to in 2014 (and never met)—but it also takes it further from the millions of Fire tablets Amazon sells just over the holidays. And my own sympathies would be with that majority of users in the Good e-Reader survey, as this new commitment is a bit of a surprise. It comes just after Barnes & Noble announced it was outsourcing much Nook development and support to India.
Round and round the Nook platform goes. Where will it stop? Who knows?