Coming Soon: Google Nook?
The biggest remaining bookseller just doubled their projected losses for 2012 from $0.30-$0.70 to $1.10-$1.40. Their stock nosedived 17%. One of the main reasons given for the lowered expectations was disappointing Christmas sales for the Nook “Simple Touch” device.
A very interesting wrinkle discussed in Barnes & Noble’s most recent board meeting was the possibility of splitting off their Nook business by selling it to Google. Here’s a Wall Street Journal quote:
“. . . one logical buyer could be Google Inc., whose e-book store has had only a minimal impact so far. . . . The Nook runs on Google’s Android software. Google declined to comment. Another potential partner is Microsoft Corp., people familiar with the situation said. Microsoft declined to comment.”
Google is working on its own tablet, which would also run on the Android operating system. While it might seem an acquisition of the Nook would dilute Google’s efforts in the tablet space, technology watchdogs at PCWorld speculate that Google doesn’t intend to offer serious competition to Apple and Amazon. Their new tablet will be intended more as a model for its hardware production partners to follow.
On the other hand, buying Barnes & Noble’s Nook operations would instantly make Google a major player in the hard fought electronic reader market. Since Google is already deeply invested in electronic content, the Nook possibility does seem to make sense.