Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) and Samsung Electronics have announced an event for August 20th in New York at which the companies are expected to introduce a Samsung-built Nook. The two companies announced the partnership in June to develop the catchily-named Galaxy Tab 4 Nook.
B&N sought the partnership with Samsung as sales of the Nook continued to decline and Nook Media, the company formed by B&N, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), and Pearson plc (NYSE: PSO), felt it needed a hardware partner so that B&N could focus effort and attention on software for the device. The Nook uses a version of Android from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG).
The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is expected to arrive with a 7-inch screen and compete for sales with the Kindle Fire HDX from Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Google’s Nexus 7. That would suggest a low-priced model, perhaps less than $250.
One might be forgiven for wondering why Nook Media sent to Samsung when one of the triumvirate — Microsoft — which is developing its own tablets.And Android instead of Windows?
The device seems doomed from the start. Tablet sales growth has flattened out and the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is very late to the game and even trying to build on the market recognition of the Nook won’t help sales.