The Nook, as an e-Reader, is a tough sell – Barnes & Noble is trying to compete with Amazon, which probably doesn’t care at all about taking a loss on every piece of hardware sold. As a tablet, the Nook brand is lost in a veritable forest of competitors. What’s a struggling bookseller to do? Partner with one of the hottest hardware companies in town.
Samsung, has partnered with Barnes & Noble, resulting in the dual-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. All we know for now is that it’ll be a 7” tablet arriving in August, and will run Nook’s forked version of Android. No other details have been released, so I’ll just hit you with some pontification about why this deal is pretty good for the companies involved.
Short version is, the Nook can’t compete with the Kindle on price and is struggling to remain visible. A more visible partner makes sense, but not if that partner is also into software – Nook’s own forked version of Android and its Nook store are basically the only things that make Nook tablets Nook tablets. That’s the only value Barnes & Noble is bringing to the table. So, if you’re going to partner up with a hardware-oriented company, Samsung’s probably the best choice. Samsung and Apple are dominant in mobile tech hardware right now, so it can’t hurt to have Samsung’s name attached to what you’re selling.
As for Samsung, the Galaxy Tab line hasn’t been as successful as Samsung would probably have liked. If nothing else, this move could bring Nook users into the fold. With Nook still boasting a pretty top-notch online bookstore, that’s nothing to sneeze at.
It’s anyone’s guess how much the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will cost, but it’s a good bet that it’ll be cheaper than what Nook tablets have recently been selling for. That’s pretty good news, because the Nook has probably always been the better choice for eBooks, if for no other reason than wider file format support.