Barnes & Noble has handed over its hardware business to Samsung, hoping offers in its physical shops will win tablet customers over
Barnes & Noble has handed over its Nook e-reader business to Samsung, which means the next version of Nook will be a standard Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 running Nook software and operating as a subsidised content device.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook runs Android 4.4 KitKat, and has two cameras. It has a 1280 x 800 screen, which is less than the Nook HD launched in 2012, but the tablet costs $179 and comes with $200 worth of content. There’s no word on a UK delivery date, or whether Barnes & Noble’s Galaxy Nook will allow apps and content form Google Play, or follow Amazon’s Kindle Fire in omitting that feature.
Nook Nook, who’s there?
Unable to dent Amazon’s lead in e-readers, Barnes & Noble has been struggling for direction with its Nook business, and last year was rumoured to be selling it to Microsoft. The Samsung deal keeps the branding but takes the hardware burden of the bookshop’s hands.
Nook customers will get free Wi-Fi and unlimited books to read when inside a Barnes & Noble store. The settings of the tablet will be optimised for reading, and customers also get support and help when in the shops – something Barens & Noble says Amazon can’t match.
Will it work? It’s too early to say, but Barnes & Noble has pre-ordered a million of the devices.