This change is being made to concentrate our focus and efforts on our core digital content business, which are Books and Newsstand, for our US customers.
We will continue offering to US customers our full service for NOOK Books, NOOK Magazines, and NOOK Newspapers on both NOOK devices and our standalone Reading Apps. We look forward to continuing to bring the best content discovery and reading experiences to our NOOK customers.
So, basically, the added effort and expense of listing third-party apps for sale was distracting Barnes & Noble from its core mission of providing digital content for Nook customers. That’s why B&N’s main competitor, Amazon, doesn’t do such a thing itself…oh, wait, it sort of does. And doesn’t allow Fire owners to add apps from Google Play. And continues to outcompete B&N, while it’s at it.
But the outlook isn’t entirely bleak for Nook tablet users. Unlike Amazon’s Fire tablets, the Nook has offered access to the official Google Play app store since shortly after the Nook’s original launch. B&N’s FAQ even explains that Nook owners can use that to continue adding third-party apps to their tablets.
As it turns out, this isn’t the only Nook media store undergoing major changes as of March 15. Nate Hoffelder reports at The Digital Reader that Barnes & Noble is shutting down its UK Nook store and transferring its customers to UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, as well as closing down Nook Video.