RUMOR: Apple interested in buying Barnes & Noble

“We received a tip from an unproven source claiming to have knowledge of discussions within Apple to possibly purchase Barnes & Noble,” Jonathan S. Geller reports for BGR.

“While this might seem like a strange move at first, it actually makes a whole lot of sense,” Geller writes. “Apple would be able to take Barnes & Noble’s vast digital library of books and publications, and fold them into Apple’s own iBooks store.”

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Geller writes, “Apple would have no use for the NOOK, and that would likely be discontinued in this scenario. Apple could then convert some of the brick and mortar Barnes & Noble stores into Apple stores and close the rest.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]

45 Comments

      1. Has the Nook even gained any traction against the Kindle? The Kindle is regularly advertised, and has more mind share than the Nook. While I often hear people speak of their Kindle, I’ve never once heard any claim they own a Nook. And the Kindle Book store is, I believe, used more than the B&N online store. If this rumor is true, the Nook is certainly a product Steve Jobs would say “No” to.

  1. Hmm I love my iPad but I think people who actually bought nooks might literally become rabid if they are discontinued. They should probably run this by the CDC and WHO before going through with it…

      1. Kodak’s patent portfolio is extensive in multiple realms, but the most valuable to Apple are probably the digital imaging patents. Kodak makes some of the best CCD chips in the world.

        1. I work in the printing industry so my exposure to Kodak started when I went to school in Rochester. In recent history Kodak acquired Scitex and Creo both of which make printing plate imaging equipment. Kodak also manufactures litho printing plates and chemistry for processing the plates. I believe they still make photographic films and papers.. They probably are in businesses that I do not even know of as well.

          What would Apple do with all that? I guess I’m wondering why Apple would pay for a whole meal when all they really want is a couple items from the salad bar.

          1. Your points are well taken. I doubt that Apple has any serious interest in either B&N or Kodak. Who I think they should have moved to buy was T-Mobile. Ultimately, Apple needs to have its own wireless network – the current players are clowns.

  2. Rumours or not, I like this idea. Zen and bold, who saw this coming?

    I don’t know the if the B&N financial books are in order and sound; however, apart from the instant trove of electronic books to the iBooks, they’d also bring physical stores with good locations to Apple. Coffee in Apple corners. Nooks no longer a competition, but more complementary.

    Having said all that, could Borders bring some of these same things now for a bargain price?

    1. Border’s does not have a credible eReader solution which helped contribute to their decline. Buying what is left of them would make no sense for Apple.

      The only way this moves makes sense if Apple can be assured that all publications available on the nook would be available on the iOS platform. If any of the agreements are in doubt then it makes no sense. However, if they can get that additional content then this is a great move. With Amazon potentially making a tablet Apple needs to figure out how they are going to catch up in the Book and Magazine/Paper content. That is one spot where they are still vunerable.

  3. Cash is a King Sized Opportunity Maker.

    ‘Apple should shut down and return the cash to its shareholders’, Michael Dell.

    “Steve knows he can’t win.”, Bill Gates

    “Apple needs to issue a dividend with its excess cash”, numerous “stock experts”.

    “Experts” don’t see the future: They are too busy analyzing the past.

  4. This is perhaps the most ridiculous “Apple should/could/may purchase…” rumor I’ve seen in a while. But just for target practice…

    If Apple wanted a “vast digital library of books and publications”, they would do what they’ve already done: go to the publishers (who own the digital rights), and strike an iTunes distribution deal. They have no need to buy a brink & mortar retailer for that.

    As far as buying B&N for the retail space and converting them to Apple stores, that’s even more hare-brained: First, Apple is already in most of the premium retail spaces where B&N stores are. Second, most B&N spaces are WAY TOO LARGE for Apple stores.

    Nothing to see here…

  5. This won’t happen. It makes zero business sense for Apple to buy them for their digital books. Apple can get their own copies of digital books.

    When someone speculates about an Apple acquisition that brings something to Apple that they cannot readily get themselves, then I’ll believe it might have merit.

    This is just another story borne from the fact that Apple has money and has increased the size of the M&A dept.

  6. Apple has emerged as a repository and distribution source since it started with music, without ever taking possession of a single content generator or aggregator. It hasn’t bought music publishers, or TV or movie studios, or game publishers. If it bought one, why would that company’s competitors feel comfortable continuing with Apple?

  7. One thing to remember, a B&N has a large presence in running the bookstores on major university campuses. In looking at the original BGR, it says Apple would keep some stores and close others. Apple could easily keep the university stores, reduce the footprint size in stores where Apple currently has not retail location, and close/reduce/modify stores in cities where they have a retail location.

    The having a presence on university campuses and moving textbooks to digital opens up some opportunities.

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