Today in Tech: Is Barnes & Noble ditching Nook hardware?
Also: HP building multiple tablets this year; why retail is not dead.
The problem was not so much the extent of the losses, but what the losses might signal: that the digital approach that Barnes & Nobles has been heavily investing in as its future for the last several years has essentially run its course.
A person familiar with Barnes & Nobles’s strategy acknowledged that this quarter, which includes holiday sales, has caused executives to realize the company must move away from its program to engineer and build its own devices and focus more on licensing its content to other device makers.
Update: “To be clear, we have no plans to discontinue our award-winning line of NOOK products,” a Barnes & Noble (BKS) spokesperson tells Fortune.
But at some level, from the standpoint of technology entrepreneurs, this debate is irrelevant. What is clear and irrefutable is that ecommerce overall is an enormous and growing industry. And whether the composition of the industry is dominated by pure-play or multichannel, we know that all the players will need massive amounts of technology in order to be successful. This is why we believe that commerce technology is the single most attractive technology space for B2B entrepreneurs in 2013.
HP’s Slate 7 is just the beginning. The company sees the writing on the wall: if you add in all the iPad sales, Apple — not HP — is selling the most computers these days. So, faced with declining PC sales and the growing popularity of Apple’s slate, HP has decided to build an entire portfolio of tablets, both Android and Windows, to maintain its position in personal computing.
“HP is the number one PC manufacturer in the world, and we want to be the number one computer vendor in the world. That means we need to be in the tablet space.”
Huawei builds clout through R&D [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]
The leap toward the top is an achievement for Huawei, but it underscores how the supply base for equipment to support the flood of traffic from devices like Apple Inc.’s iPhone has been eroding, a trend that has alarmed carriers. The biggest U.S. carriers can’t use Huawei because of government security concerns, and carriers in Europe, where Huawei is more welcome, fear becoming too reliant on a single supplier.
The concern is that weakened European vendors won’t be able to make needed investments, setting Huawei up as one of the few sources of advanced telecom equipment.
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