Apple is apparently in talks to purchase the retail book chain Barnes & Noble. News of the negotiations comes via an unnamed source through Boy Genius Report.
Assuming such a deal really is in the works, Apple would end up spending somewhere in the neighborhood of US$1.5 billion for the company. In exchange, it would get the Barnes & Noble ebook library, the Nook ebook reader, along with the company’s stores around the country.
Apple buying B&N? Not likely
Considering Apple is an electronics seller, jumping into the traditional book market doesn’t seem like a move the company would be interested in making when it already has the iPhone, iPod line, iPad and Mac making it money hand over fist. The deal would also leave Apple with an ebook reader product that it would either have to sell to another company, or simply kill off.
Managing B&N’s retail stores would most likely be something of a headache for Apple, too, unless it planned on remodeling at least some into Apple Stores. Many of the book seller’s locations, however, are already close to existing Apple Stores, making them less than ideal locations for new stores.
On the surface, the idea of Apple buying Barnes & Noble might seem enticing, but simply doesn’t make sense for the Mac and iPad maker, especially since it would be burdened with offloading the rest of book reseller’s merchandise and stores — unless it plans to continue selling traditional print books and magazines.
Without a good reason to buy the company, it’s also highly unlikely that Apple is even talking with B&N about a purchase, making the anonymous source’s claims in this rumor dubious at best.
[Since I can’t seem to keep Barnes & Noble and Borders straight, I’ve updated this article accordingly. The idea that Apple is buying a retail book seller, regardless of which one it is, however, still doesn’t make sense.]