Barnes & Noble is partnering with Samsung to create a range of co-branded tablets. The product line, named the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4
Nook, combines Samsung's existing hardware range with customized Nook software, with the first seven-inch device set to go on sale in the United States in early August through Barnes & Noble bookstores.
The press release issued
by the retailer doesn't give much in the way of detail of what the partnership entails, but it is likely that Samsung will continue its existing strategy of releasing a number of differently-sized devices in the product line. It is unclear if the tablets will ship with the Android implementation Barnes & Noble used on its Nook HD
and HD+ devices, or if it will be a version Samsung usually supplies on its Android devices with the Nook Android app
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 7
By partnering with Samsung, the company frees itself from aspects of costly hardware production, allowing it to concentrate more on the software and content side of the business. While the deal could be likened to that of BlackBerry and Foxconn
, in this case Barnes & Noble does not have to manage the design of hardware, with all but the software and retail aspects managed by Samsung.
The book seller has previously indicated
it wanted to cease Nook tablet production and switch to a licensing model. Reports suggested Microsoft was considering
a purchase of the entire Nook Media arm, with the relationship between the two companies changing in March
to allow Nook Media to end the Windows Phone app development in order to work on the Microsoft Consumer Reader instead.
Barnes & Noble's e-book reader, the Nook GlowLight
, is excluded from the partnership and will continue to be sold.