Barnes & Noble is spinning off the manufacturing of its Nook tablet line to third party companies. In a statement accompanying a financial release today, the retailer confirmed it will no longer make Nook tablets, but will instead create a "partnership model for manufacturing in the competitive color tablet market." The change is a move to reduce losses — the company is currently hemorrhaging money — by limiting "risks associated with manufacturing."
The fate of Barnes & Noble's Nook division has been in doubt recently. Today's quarterly financial results reveal a 34 percent drop in revenue year-over-year. Despite opening up to third-party manufacturers, the in-house Nook HD and HD+ tablets will continue to be sold throughout the year — likely until inventory runs dry — and Barnes & Noble says its customers will continue to receive "world-class pre- and post-sales support" in addition to software upgrades and "improvements to the digital bookstore service." Today's announcement doesn't affect other Nook products; its Simple Touch and Glowlight e-reader lines will continue to be developed in house.