Earlier today they announced a deal to sell a Nook-branded tablet from Samsung, and a few hours later they spelled out the Samsung contract in a new SEC filing. I'm still working my way through the filing, but it's already revealed quite a few details not mentioned in the press release.
For example, B&N has committed to buying a million tablets from Samsung in the first year:
NOOK Media has agreed to a minimum purchase commitment during the first twelve months after the launch of the initial co-branded NOOK devices of 1,000,000 devices; provided that if NOOK Media does not meet certain sales thresholds of the initial co-branded NOOK devices by December 31, 2014, the twelve month period referred to above shall be extended to fifteen months.
The B&N-Samsung deal is going to commence with the Galaxy Tab 4, but the filing hints that it might expand to other models in the future. This agreement also includes a marketing fund which will be supplied by Samsung, as well as joint efforts to promote both Samsung hardware and the Nook platform. The co-branded devices are going to be unavoidably tied to the Nook platform; the filing says that this is a registration step which cannot be skipped.
And most importantly, this deal initially includes rebranding both the Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 and the Galaxy Tab 4 10.1:
For the initial Co-Branded Devices, NOOK Media hereby selects Galaxy Tab 4 7” and Galaxy Tab 4 10” Tablets, each in two SKUs (black and white). Samsung shall use its best efforts to make the 7” initial Co-Branded Device available for a commercial Launch during the week of [***] (the “ Initial Availability Date ”), with the 10” initial Co-Branded Device to follow sixty (60) days after the Launch of the Galaxy Tab 4 7”.
The 7" model is expected to ship in August, according to B&N, which would mean the 10" tablet will likely ship in October 2014. Both devices have largely the same specs.
Given B&N's previous lack of success, in selling tablets, do you think they will do better in selling Samsung devices?
I don't think so, but that could be my pessimism talking. I just don't think of B&N as a place to buy a tablet - not when BestBuy, Walmart, and Amazon are all carrying multiple models.