Being one of the first three companies to promote e-readers has its perks, and it doesn't hurt that tablets have also been selling under the same brand as the other devices. Barnes & Noble is the living proof of that.
B&N's Nook devices (e-book readers and tablets) have never managed to outsell Amazon's Kindle / Kindle Fire series, not even close.
They still sold well though. In fact, they are largely responsible for the $2 million profit (1.53 million Euro) reported for the second fiscal quarter (ended recently).
Some may say a couple of millions isn't that much, but B&N isn't one of the huge PC or CE (consumer electronics) device makers.
It also bears noting that B&N actually posted mixed results for Q2 FY2013, meaning that the Nook product line had to offset losses from other departments.
Nook digital content sales soared 38% (e-books mostly) and the entire Nook segment rose 6%, to $160 million / 123 million Euro.
Meanwhile, the bookstore retail segment fell 3%, to $996 million / 766 million Euro, and the college bookstores stayed at the same level as the previous three-month period ($773 million / 594 million Euro).
Overall, the revenue ended up at just slightly under 2 billion / 1.53 billion Euro.
"We expect our two highly acclaimed new NOOK products, and our Microsoft partnership on Windows 8 to further fuel the growth of our digital business, and are encouraged by the promising start to the holidays in our retail and digital businesses," said William Lynch, chief executive officer of B&N.
"The Nook business will scale in 2013. The key to the Nook business is to continue to grow digital content sales."
Currently, there are a few Nook e-readers up for sale, most importantly the Nook Simple Touch
and Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight
. On the tablet front, the new B&N Nook HD and HD+