So much for Barnes & Noble designing its own tablets.
The bookseller is partnering with Samsung to produce a co-branded tablet, dubbed the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. It'll have the same hardware as Samsung's Galaxy Tab 4, but with Barnes & Noble's Android-based Nook software running on top. A 7-inch version of the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will go on sale in early August, though the two companies haven't revealed pricing.
Samsung currently sells the regular Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 for $200. It has a 1280-by-800 resolution display, a quad-core processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, a 3-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front camera and a microSD card slot.
Presumably, the Nook edition will have the same specs, but with Barnes & Noble's user interface and bookstore front-and-center. Barnes & Noble says these tablets will be "prominently displayed" at the bookseller's 700 U.S. stores.
Barnes & Noble will continue to sell its Nook Glowlight e-reader and provide customer support for existing Nook tablets, but it sounds like the company is getting out of the tablet design and production game. By partnering with Samsung, Barnes & Noble says it will be able to focus on "delivering the the best digital reading experience to grow Nook content sales."
The fate of the Nook tablet line wasn't always so clear. In June 2013, Barnes & Noble said it would start outsourcing tablet design to third parties, but backtracked on that decision a couple months later. In February, the company said it would produce a new color Nook device with help from "several world-class hardware partners." Amid the indecision, Barnes & Noble let the 2013 holiday season come and go without releasing any new tablet hardware.
The Samsung partnership seems like a quick-and-dirty way for Barnes & Noble to get back in the game. But success probably won't come in easy in the budget tablet market, which has only become more cutthroat over the last couple of years.
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