nook tabletThe Nook may be down, but Barnes & Noble says it isn’t out of the e-reader fight just yet.

According to statements by company CEO Michael Huseby made in the company’s quarterly earnings release, Barnes & Noble is looking to partner with another hardware manufacturer in order to create the next generation of its tablet.

“The Company is actively engaged in discussions with several world-class hardware partners related to device development as well as content packaging and distribution,” he said.

In the past, Barnes & Noble chose to make the Nook itself, but the division was recently struck with across-the-board layoffs that put 190 employees – 26 percent of the Nook team – out of work.

Huseby clearly hopes that the new hardware will help revitalize the Nook business, which saw device and accessories sales decrease more than 58 percent from the year-ago quarter. Barnes & Noble said that the Nook underperformed in part because the company didn’t release any new hardware products in time for the holidays, which contributed to its weak sales.

In 2012, Microsoft paid $300 million for a 17.6 percent stake in B&N’s Nook business.

Overall, the company saw its revenues decline 10.3 percent year-over-year, though it reported a meager profit of $63.2 million. Wall Street seems to be cautiously optimistic about the book seller’s chances, with shares of Barnes & Noble up more than 4 percent in trading today.

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  • Christopher Budd

    Barnes and Noble aren’t doing the Nook any favors with how they’re handling this. They’re sending extremely mixed messages around the long-term future of the Nook. And if there’s one thing that’s critical around platform adoption it’s that people have to believe the platform will be around, otherwise they won’t touch it. No one wants to be holding on to what amounts to the Betamax or HD-DVD of e-readers.

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