Well, that was quick. Kara Swisher at Boomtown has heard from an anonymous source that Kno, manufacturer of those laptop-size-and-weight double-pane tablets (and lighter single-pane ones) for students has decided to get out of the tablet-making business. According to this source, Kno execs have decided that enough other companies are making tablets that they don’t need to make one of their own, too, and can concentrate on software and content instead.
If true, it’s not terribly surprising. Kno’s tablet design always seemed more than a little ambitious, especially at its $599 and $899 price points for hardware nobody had even gotten their hands on and that was uncertain to be supported by anyone beyond its manufacturer. As Swisher points out, Kno didn’t seem to have the marketing power to compete in the increasingly crowded tablet market (especially when Apple could be considered a “crowd” all by itself).
Since Kno has already established partnerships with universities, if it dumped the costly hardware business it has good prospects for turning itself into a content provider. The question is, does anyone else really want that business in this crowded market? Apparently someone might; Kno is rumored to be in talks with two companies, one of which is said to have signed an NDA with them.