Barnes & Noble partners with Samsung to develop Nook tablet

The partnership with Samsung effectively ends Barnes & Noble's ill-fated foray into hardware design.
By Ananth Baliga  |  June 5, 2014 at 3:51 PM
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NEW YORK, June 5 (UPI) -- Barnes & Noble is looking to revamp its Nook tablets by launching a co-branded device with Samsung called the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook.

The 7-inch tablet will have Samsung's hardware and Nook's customized software that will offer users easy access to Barnes & Noble's online digital book store. The tablet will be available in the U.S. early August at Barnes & Nobles stores and online.

"Working with Samsung on co-branded tablets will allow [Barnes & Noble] to reduce its exposure to the substantial cost structure and other financial commitments that accompany ownership of the hardware production aspects of the Nook tablet business," the bookseller said. "Going forward, the company will be able to focus on its proven expertise in acquiring and delivering the best digital reading experience to grow Nook content sales."

The bookseller is looking to give its tablets a facelift, which have been struggling to generate sales and saw a 50.4 percent decline in sales last quarter. William Lynch had to resign as director and CEO of the Nook business because of the disappointing sales registered last quarter.

Barnes & Noble attempted to boost the Nook's sales by first planning to hand it over to a third-party and also by adding Google Play to the Nook HD and HD+ tablets. But neither of these steps helped boost sales for the device.

Samsung Electronics America President Tim Baxter said that the company is dedicated to providing consumers with the best devices that fit their lifestyle and that they were excited to work on the tablet to enhance the Nook's reading experience.

The partnership will end the bookseller's foray into hardware design and the company will only provide technical support to Nooks sold up to this point. By leaving the hardware aspect of the tablet to Samsung, the company can now focus on its software and Nook content.

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