For some time now I’ve been pointing at the frequent Nook sales and the readily available quantity of refurbished Nook Tablets, Nook Colors, and more as a sign that B&N wasn’t doing well in the hardware market . The buy one get 0ne free sales were a particularly troubling sign, and the recent quarterly report showing a loss in the Nook division was also not good.
And today IHS iSuppli confirmed the worst of the rumors. They released a summary of their latest market estimate for the global tablet market, and B&N’s sales have dropped.
According to iSuppli’s analysts, B&N sold only 459 thousand Enhanced ereaders last quarter, and they sold around 614 thousand in Q1 2012. In contrast, Amazon is estimated to have sold over a million Kindle Fires each quarter.
If you add up the estimated KF sales from last fall, Amazon sold around 6 million tablets. In that same time period B&N sold somewhere around 3 million, with most of those sales occurring in the Christmas season last year (chart). Yeah, things aren’t going well for B&N.
I wonder how these poor sales will affect their future plans? I’ve heard via retail channels that B&N plans to launch another Android device before possibly switching to another platform. If sales are this bad now, they might be thinking of moving up the time table. A radical shift can often appear to be an improvement while masking fundamental issues.