After watching sales drop by 34 percent in the last quarter alone, Barnes & Noble has finally decided to let go of a dying brand: the NOOK tablet. The bookstore giant, which has struggled to keep up in the digital age, will continue to manufacture the NOOK Simple Touch and Glowlight models, but will be licensing the NOOK's HD and HD+ color tablet models to a third-party manufacturer.
Sales will continue as normal throughout the holidays (at this point, they're practically giving the things away for free), with changes going into effect next year.
Barnes & Noble blames the lack of blockbuster titles like 50 Shades of Grey and The Hunger Games in this year's book market for its slow sales of e-books, though that doesn't necessarily account for the sluggish sales of the hardware itself. The Amazon Kindle and its associated e-bookstore have dominated the market, leaving little room for competition.
The decision to give up on the NOOK could cut Barnes & Noble's losses for now, but the future doesn't look too bright for the B&N brand. Following the announcement Tuesday, the company's stock price dropped by 16 percent.