A very puzzled press release from Barnes and Noble reveals that Nook sales were down by nearly 13% over the holidays.
As Publishers Lunch comments, "In the last quarter BN management had said Nook was selling more units, just at lower prices, but in this important period, Nook sales fell "due to lower unit volume and average selling prices." Overall, Nook segment sales were $311 million for the nine-week holiday period, down 12.6 percent. A year ago, the Nook business rose 43 percent over the holidays.
"Digital content sales rose only very modestly--up 13.1 percent--as "device unit sales declined during the holiday period as compared to the prior year." Content sales have been growing at a smaller rate every quarter for over a year now. During last year's holiday period, digital content sales grew 113 percent.
The answer may well lie with Amazon's aggressive promotion of their new eReader, Kindle Fire. According to the site Chitika insights, iPad slumped about 7% from its normal 80% dominance of the tablet/eReader market, while Amazon Fire gained about 3%.