This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Barnes & Noble Should Shut the Book on Nook

Stocks in this article: AAPL AMZN BKS GOOG

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Barnes & Noble's (BKS) struggle to get a toehold in the eBooks trade is an open book.

Even with the bookseller's shares up 12% this year compared to a 0.5% decline for the S&P 500, its Nook e-reader tablet has not been the bestseller it wanted.

Why did it take that plunge?

Long ago there were various notions of what a future tablet might be like, one being the 1994 Knight-Ridder concept video. The thinking was that if some company -- besides Apple (AAPL) -- had the right vision, money and technical capacity, we might have seen the newspaper and book industry seize the initiative (in a different timeline) and dominate the tablet industry today.

But the development of that kind of technology requires enormous technical expertise and billions of dollars. The companies that made their money in ways other than print had the vision and capacity to build our modern tablets. For Apple, it was the Macintosh and iPhone. For Amazon (AMZN), it was its enormous inroads into Internet commerce. For Google (GOOG), it was the intention to have a reference platform (the Nexus) to showcase the best of Android.

Barnes & Noble wanted its own platform for the modern, headlong rush into eBooks. The thinking was that if the delivery of books was to move from print to tablets, the company must have a tablet of its own.

That tablet, because it would be designed to be a storefront into B&N's wares, need not be a general purpose tablet like the Apple iPad or the Google Nexus. After all, the idea wasn't to promote the sale of, say, Amazon's books for a Kindle app running on a Nook tablet.

That thinking turned out to be a mistake.

For example, Apple is a hardware company and makes almost all of its profits from selling hardware. Its notable operating systems, OS X and iOS, are free, along with its productivity suite, iWork, in order to sell hardware. That's why it doesn't make sense for Apple to make its eBook app, called iBooks, available for other tablets. Apple is not in the book business but the company sells books to promote its hardware.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs