US bookseller Barnes & Noble (B&N) unveiled the anticipated Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, a co-branded device that is described as “the first-ever full-featured Android tablet optimised for reading”.
The retailer announced a deal with Samsung earlier this year, after axing its own tablet line. B&N announced its first tablet in 2011 as an extension of its ereader line, in a similar way to Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
But unlike Amazon, which has regularly updated its tablet devices and has even moved into the smartphone space, B&N opted to allow its tablet business to whither (no new products in this line reached the market last year), as it instead focused on making digital media content available to users of Android, iOS and Windows devices.
And the move comes against a backdrop of speculation that the dedicated ereader market is past its peak, as customers shift toward more functional devices such as tablets. It was reported recently that Sony had decided to exit the market, although this may have in part been due to content availability – and the need to offer an integrated experience akin to Nook and Kindle.
B&N said that it will “continue to support all Nook devices”, and will be “sold alongside the popular Nook GlowLight ereader”.
The catchily-named Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is priced at a competitive $179 after a $20 instant rebate, and includes more than $200 in free content including “books, popular TV shows, top magazines and more”.
It is based on the 7-inch version of Galaxy Tab 4.