Barnes & Noble’s line of Nook e-readers isn’t dead yet. The company has confirmed to The Verge that despite running out of stock, it still plans to sell its Kindle competitors once new units arrive in stores later this spring. In fact, there’s a previously unannounced tablet that the company will imminently reveal.
Susan McCulloch, Barnes & Noble’s senior director for Nook operations, tells The Verge that the company will bring back its Nook tablet line with “a new NOOK tablet designed with Lenovo” that it will reveal next week. Barnes & Noble’s most recent Nook tablet was the $129 10.1-inch Nook, its largest Android tablet ever. But it, along with every other Android tablet from Barnes & Noble, has been unavailable to purchase since last July.
Currently, the Nook GlowLight 3 and GlowLight Plus e-readers share a similar fate, as both are listed as completely sold out online. It’s apparently the first time both products have been unavailable at the same time, according to Good e-Reader. Some stores still list in-store stock available, which has led to speculation that Barnes & Noble might be discontinuing the Nook line entirely — something we’ve seen happen before with products like Apple’s HomePod.
But the lack of stock is actually due to “exceptionally strong” sales of the two products, which McCulloch credits to an increase in reading over the past year. “As problems go, of course, this is a bitter-sweet one for a retailer,” she added.
That would be impressive, given the Nook GlowLight 3 and GlowLight Plus are more than slightly outdated. (The GlowLight 3 was released in 2017, while the larger GlowLight Plus is almost two years old.) But it seems the dwindling supply is just due to increased demand, as opposed to Barnes & Noble planning refreshed models or an exit from the e-reader business entirely.
Despite the odds, instead of folding, it seems the Nook brand is about to get yet another refresh in the coming weeks. Barnes & Noble isn’t letting its older e-reader hardware or the incredibly oversaturated Android tablet market stand in its way.