Source: NOOKcolor Shipments Stopped Due to Inventory Software Bug, Not Hackers

In an earlier report it was suggested that shipments of the NOOKcolor from Barnes & Noble were halted in order to institute an edition of the e-reader that would be a bit more difficult for hackers and modders to break wide open. A source has now come forward saying that speculation is totally false.

While shipments have indeed stopped for the time being, the stoppage is actually the result of a bug in B&N’s inventory system. Shipments were halted so that a company-wide stock count could take place in order to update current numbers before resuming the reception of new units. The bug and halt on shipments also coincides with a production delay coming out of China. Here is B&N’s word on how they will handle current in-store stock:

“B&N’s short-term solution to the problem is to move stock from one store to another to cover demand, with cooperation at the local level between stores.”

So it looks like you won’t need to get your drawers in a bunch over the NOOKcolor gestapo-ing away the ability to do cool things like, say, install Honeycomb on your rooted e-reader.

[Thanks, EarlyMon!]

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  • Keller

    Thats a relief, I’m actually considering to get one

  • Booth

    B&N would be dumb to block rooting. It will out sell any other 7″ tab in its current state.

  • Tony

    Well thats cool then… I may get the NC…MAY…

  • Bela

    Wish the screen was just a LITTLE bit bigger. I’d be ok with them tossing on another $50 too to get it there. Price is amazing. Processor (overclocked) is amazing. It’s just a hair on the small side for my tastes.

  • Chuck

    They would be foolish. Imagine if 75% of the folks bought one book. They would make a fortune. And as more books are purchased, then more $$ for B&N. They should drop the NC to 199 and include a gift card for books. Then get people tasting the need for more.

  • Munee

    That made my day. I wasn’t really interested in a e reader but if a can turn it into a tablet and get the kids books to quiet my daughter it’s a win-win. Going to get 1 tomorrow.

  • jason

    @booth

    With such a low price-point, the nook color probably doesn’t give B&N all that great of a profit margin. It’s possible they are expecting to make up for the lack of profit margin on the device itself by selling super-expensive e-books for the device. This is how game console companies like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft operate….selling the actual consoles for a loss while making their money on games. I think the kindle business model is similar.

    In this type of situation, it makes sense that they would want to stop hackers. The good publicity you get from improved sales #’s might not counterbalance the cost of producing devices that won’t ever drive e-book purchases.

  • EarlyMon

    I see that AndroidCentral is kinda using the updated info and questioning if it’s true without citing Phandroid.

    The story’s true, and AC is kinda weak, which we knew already.

  • Simon Belmont

    Thank you posting this, Phandroid. At least someone is on the ball today.

    B&N would not take their best selling device of the shelves for two weeks. That would be an insane business practice anyway.

  • Vlad

    I have NC and I’d say the screen size is universally perfect. It’s narrow enough to fit in one hand grabbing it at the edges, not the bezel. It’s small enough to fit into a large pocket. Trust me, you don’t want it bigger.

  • BR

    There’s no need to stop sales because of the hackability of the device.

    As I’m sure they’ve noticed it’s probably helping drive sales of the device which would have not had been made if it were more locked down.

    Inadvertently I would say that B&N have stumbled upon something that I’ve been saying for a while, the more open you leave a device to be customised and modded the larger potential market you have to sell to. No what is needed is an OEM so actually build a interface for users to be able to edit and customise a device quickly and efficiently to actually drive customization and progression :)

  • http://Phandroid Das_Negros

    Really!?!?!? Could they come up with a better BS excuse than a F%$*#n bug? They just don’t want peeps to be happy. Where is the love? Hacker need love too! Ain’t gotta lie to kick it B&N ! ! !

  • Tim

    Also consider the fact that as time goes on sales increase, and production ramps up. That will drive production costs down and result in more profit from the hardware B&N sells. Because of this, I seriously doubt that B&N will kok-block the independent NookColor developer community.

  • Scott

    If this is true then why would stores like Walmart have pulled inventory?

  • nookie

    I think there is some truth to the article’s claim,

    I called 10 Barnes and Noble Stores, 4 in Sacramento, 3 in San Francisco, 1 in Walnut, 1 in San Jose, 1 in Santa Rosa.

    I asked for the Nook store expert, and talked to 2 store Managers. All said the only reason for no inventory was, “Demand/Sales” were unexpected and supply hasn’t caught up. Several said that the expected sales were 6 a day and they are selling 30 a day.

    Every store was asked if B&N has pulled any inventory for any reason? Answer NO! In fact there has been hardly any returns due to failure. Nookcolor owners are very happy with their purchase.

    One of the store managers alluded to the inventory bug issue, and another store the guy said something similar. However both repeated the official company reason, “Sales demand has out paced supply, and far exceeded expected sales. B&N is trying to catch up and will have the problem solved in approx. two weeks.

  • Twidgit

    The reason stated (by B&N) for pulling their Nook Color ereaders is pure, unadulterated, BOVINE SCAT!

    B&N makes NO profit on sales of the NC devices. However, they do make their money on sales of books and ebooks. That is their business.

    The NC is a loss-leader(based on the successful inkjet printer/ink marketing model?), created to encourage B&N customers to buy their ebooks. However, once the NC hit the marketplace, the hackers found it could be easily hacked. Consequently, way too many NCs were being purchased specifically to be hacked into (almost) full-featured android tablets.

    That meant that the so-called NC “shortages” experienced in certain “hacker-rich environments” frustrated the intended non-hacker purchasers from obtaining one.

    This presented a quandry for B&N! The loss-leader losses were mounting at an exponential rate, without any significant increase in ebook sales . . . [Horror of Horrors: Some folks were even hacking the Amazon store app into their NCs!]

    B&N’s somewhat flawed business plan was tanking. They were bleeding money from all this; so in a knee jerk reaction, stopped sales of ALL NCs until they could be made “hack-proof”.

    The hackers will probably be able to work around any “fix” anyway; so all B&N is doing is stifling sales of the NC. If the hackers can’t figure a reasonable way around the “fix”, they will move on to another device that is more friendly to them.

    Oh well . . .