In the bid to dominate all of mobile, Samsung
is sinking its teeth into yet another department: e-readers. Over the years, the Kindle (from Amazon) has outsold the Nook (from B&N), and we haven't seen a new one pop out since the middle of last year. B&N informed
the public that new Nook products were indeed in progress last fall, but many saw that as a last-gasp effort just to keep the spotlight focused on its brand through the holiday season. Now, it's all becoming clear.
The newest Nook will actually be a hybrid of a Nook and a Galaxy Tab, leveraging Samsung's mighty brand to hopefully catapult the Nook back into the mainstream. The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook (that's the actual name) is a co-branded slate that will look like a Tab from the outside, but will boast B&N applications once it's powered on. The 7-inch tablet will ship in the U.S. this August, and they'll be "prominently displayed" other Nook e-readers at B&N locations and online.
The Nook GlowLight
e-reader will continue to be offered for now, but it's obvious that B&N didn't want to continue being a manufacturer. This enables them to offload that burden to Samsung, and they also get to hook their wagon to a proven brand. No word yet on whether more co-branded devices will pop up, but one has to wonder how many of these deals that Samsung is working. It doesn't appear that this is an exclusive grab, so in theory, Samsung could end being a co-branding partner for even more companies in the future.