Barnes & Noble may have reported shrinking digital revenues for the past couple years, but that doesn’t mean they’re giving up on their digital efforts.
Sources inside B&N have told me the retailer is planning to reset its stores early next month to make room for a new device (as well as accessories which have already shown up in B&N’s internal system). Details are still scarce (and in fact I have no actual evidence to show you – yet) but there’s a very good chance that we’ll see a new device in the next couple weeks.
Based on the cases that have shown up in B&N’s system (and, I’m told, are already scheduled to arrive in stores), we’re looking at a new 8″ device. It’s going to arrive on or before 3 September, when the reset is scheduled, but at this time we still don’t know whether we’re looking at a new Android tablet or a new Nook ereader.
While there have been rumors of a new Nook and speculation that it was coming this fall, it is also just as likely that this is a Samsung tablet. However, there’s no solid evidence to support either possibility.
B&N has not yet filed any paperwork with the FCC (for the new Nook) or with the SEC (in regards to a new agreement with Samsung) so there’s no clear evidence one way or the other. And B&N’s marketing dept isn’t talking either (I’ve already queried them).
But there is one point in favor of this being a tablet: B&N hasn’t come close to meeting its promise to sell a million Samsung tablets in the first year to 15 months. That contract clause was extended to a full two years, and this new device could be intended to meet that goal.
For obvious reasons the cheaper tablet is more likely (unless I missed one of Samsung’s other tablets, which is a real possibility).
Stay tuned. When I have solid news to report, I will.