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Barnes & Noble to Launch 2 New NookColors This Year

I was handed some juicy insider info the other day and oh my, is it a surprise.

Barnes & Noble is rumored to be releasing a replacement NookColor some time in October. All the unsubstantiated rumors had come out of Asia, so I wasn’t sure that I  should take them seriously. I did, but that was only because B&N have been clearing out the refurbished units at a decent discount. And until today the unsubstantiated rumors were all I had.

According to my source, Barnes & Noble held a planning meeting last week. One of the topics discussed in the meeting was B&N’s marketing plans for their ebook readers and how they would be promoted next quarter.


I have, in my hot little hands, a slide that may have been used in that planning  meeting. It mentions that B&N will have 3 ebook readers next quarter, not 2. According to the slide, the NookColor will be getting a brother tablet. Now, I’ve been asked not to post the slide, unfortunately; it might be possible to trace it back to my source. Here’s what it says:

  • Nook EPD
  • Smart Touch $139
  • Nook Color
  • Encore $249
  • Acclaim $349

There’s also a notation that it has been approved by WL/JI, and I believe those are the initials of William Lynch (CEO of B&N) and James Iannone (head of B&N Digital Products). (Before I go further, let me confirm that Encore and Smart Touch are valid product names for the current 6″ Nook Touch and 7″ NookColor.) That part is legit.

All I have right now are the names and prices of the tablets, but that alone tells me several details. First and foremost, B&N will keep the NookTouch at $139, and they will have the 2 NookColors at higher price points. The Encore and Acclaim tablets will be priced at  $249 and $349.

The Acclaim name is new.

Given that B&N kept the name Encore, it seems likely that the Encore tablet will keep the 7″ screen from the current model. I would also guess that the new tablet will be a hardware upgrade from the current one – that’s why the price is the same.

On the other hand, the Acclaim tablet could be anything. And that makes it so much more fun – I can speculate to my heart’s content. Here’s my idea.

I think the Acclaim name was chosen becuase of the connotations. It’s the name of a defunct gaming company, so just saying the name in certain circles will be enough to identify the tablet as a gaming device.

Now, the trademark for that name is owned by Playdom (a Disney sub). We already know that the current NookColor has apps from Disney, so clearly they have a working relationship with B&N and that tells us that Disney would be in a position to know about the new NookColor. This would suggest that Disney already know about the name and they are okay with it.

Aside from the name connection, there’s little to suggest that this is a gaming device. But I think it is, and that would mean that the Acclaim tablet is the Android tablet that GameStop are currently beta-testing. No one knows any details yet about the Gamestop tablet, aside from the fact it’s based on the hardware of an existing tablet. But ever since a reader pointed out the relationship between B&N and Gamestop, I have believed that they were using the hardware.

Gamestop have a connection to B&N. Disney have a connection to B&N. Wouldn’t it make a lot of sense for the NookColor Acclaim to be sold by both retailers and use content from Disney (and other developers, of course)? The 2 retailers could share the ecosystem and the development cost while using the tablet for non-competing purposes. The guy who tipped me to the idea that B&N and Gamestop might share a tablet is expecting them to do just that.

Of course, all I have are the names and prices, so this could be completely off the wall.

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john September 23, 2011 um 12:27 pm

investigative journalism at its best! even better conclusions drawn also. good job!

B&N Releasing Two New Nooks This Quarter | TechCrunch September 23, 2011 um 12:44 pm

[…] ninjas at The Digital Reader have uncovered the names of two new Nook Color versions – the Encore, priced at $249, and the […]

Void September 23, 2011 um 12:50 pm

I’m happy to see something happening. Not much has been going on in e-book space since the Sony announcement, and that wasn’t even an actual release.

Barnes & Noble su un tablet da 349 dollari – Netbook News September 23, 2011 um 1:03 pm

[…] che sembra GameStop voglia commercializzare entro fine anno.Sono indiscrezioni e conclusioni di che potrebbero essere valide come assolutamente fantasiose, ma che comunque – ancora – […]

ePub September 23, 2011 um 1:24 pm

It was time, I guess. $349? I just wonder what we’ll get for the price? Retina display?

Barnes & Noble to launch $349 Android tablet? – Liliputing September 23, 2011 um 1:40 pm

[…] at The Digital Reader received a tip that the company plans to launch a new $349 device next quarter. It will have the code-name […]

Barnes and Noble Prepping Two New Nooks for Xmas? | TechnoBuffalo September 23, 2011 um 2:07 pm

[…] Nook line of e-readers as part of their fourth quarter plans, according to documents obtained by The Digital Reader.A slide leaked to the site lists three ereaders as part of B&N’s Q4 plans, including the […]

HTCFlyerReader September 23, 2011 um 5:00 pm

Bet they announce it on September 27 or 29!

Mike Cane September 23, 2011 um 5:17 pm

A gaming tablet would paradoxically fit in with the current B&N strategy of selling board games and shit like that.

Barnes & Noble May Release Two New Color Tablets, Not Just One | Netbooknews – Netbooks, Netbook Reviews, Smartbooks and more September 23, 2011 um 10:31 pm

[…] Via Electronista, The Digital Reader […]

RK September 23, 2011 um 11:53 pm

many thanks for the scoop and for sharing your thoughts.

Ebook News Digest – September 23rd, 2011 | Ebook Friendly September 24, 2011 um 4:12 am

[…] Barnes & Noble to Launch 2 New NookColors This Year – The Digital Reader I was handed some juicy insider info the other day and oh my, is it a surprise. Barnes & Noble are rumored to be releasing a replacement NookColor some time in October. All the unsubstantiated rumors had come out of Asia, so I wasn’t sure… […]

steve September 24, 2011 um 12:05 pm

Barnes & Noble does NOT call the $139 Nook "Smart Touch" You don’t have your facts straight at all.

Nate Hoffelder September 24, 2011 um 12:15 pm

Yes, they do use that term (internally). They even have the trademark for it (via their holding company Fission LLC). Go look it up if you don’t beleive me: .

Google the phrase and you will see it pop up here and there.

abhi September 24, 2011 um 1:38 pm

B&N do in fact call the new touch eReader both Simple Touch and Smart Touch. So Nate’s right on that one.

Great Scoop. This makes a lot of sense. Let me add that my analysis of the Nook App Store and all the signs suggest the exact same thing you’ve suggested i.e. Tablet refresh and a 2nd Tablet.

Logan Kennelly September 24, 2011 um 8:37 pm

I think, Nate, you leaped a little far in your conclusions. One of the “new” Nook Color models is the Encore, the name of the existing device. When have you heard of a company using the same code name for a new product? At most, they may cost-reduce the Nook Color (which may mean better battery life), but, to me, it is odd to come out with a Nook Color 2 and not start up a new project for it.

So that leaves the Acclaim, and I bet for the extra $100 and extra year of development it will be fairly impressive. I don’t discount the rumors that it will be a gaming tablet (possibly in association with Gamestop), but the Acclaim/Disney link is far-fetched. The trademark is unimportant (since it is merely a code-name, like "butt-headed astronomer"), and the fact that Disney published through B&N is not indicative of close working relationship.

I feel bad for posting so many negative comments (and I rarely post positive "me too" posts), so I’ll close by saying great work in being tenacious enough for people to leak documents to you. And thanks for sharing that information with us. You’ve certainly whetted my appetite. 🙂

Nate Hoffelder September 24, 2011 um 8:46 pm

A lot of people are suggesting that B&N will not replacing the Encore, but there is one detail that makes me doubt that assertion. B&N have been clearing out the refurbished models. Why would they do that if they are not replacing that model with a new one?

But you do raise a valid point about the model name. On the other hand, that model is now outdated and rather overpriced (compared to other Android tablets). Shouldn’t it get a price cut, at least?

And yes, Disney/Gamestop is a stretch.

cabbiebot September 25, 2011 um 1:16 am

The thing that should never get lost is that Encore is a device subsidized by the customers future purchases. Refurbished models in possession of B&N, beyond what might be reasonably expected for purpose of the warranty and protection plan, are deadweight that hurt the quarterly numbers. The firesale from Borders has negatively impacted B&N and they’ve even suspended their dividend to keep cash. Hardware sitting in a warehouse that isn’t being used to purchase digital content is not generating that much needed up-front cash.

The Gamestop/Disney conjecture is wonky. I suggest taking a closer look at what Barnes & Noble calls "NOOKStudy". It’s even trademarked!

Nate Hoffelder September 25, 2011 um 6:35 am

How do you know that it is subsidized? There are any number of tablets now that are cheaper and have similar specs?

bz September 25, 2011 um 10:51 am

I’m so excited. Can’t wait to get my hand on the Acclaim.

Barnes & Noble podría presentar nuevos Nooks en octubre | September 25, 2011 um 8:22 pm

[…] Digital Reader, la fuente de la información, señala que también podrían lanzar un Nook bajo el nombre Encore, pero a la vez suponen que es una versión actualizada del Nook Color de 7 pulgadas. Sumado a esto, el rumor sobre el lanzamiento de la tablet Amazon, podría reforzar esta posibilidad de que veamos al menos un nuevo Nook. « Samsung ya vendió 10 millones de ··· /* […]

haruhi September 25, 2011 um 11:31 pm

I agree, Encore is the current Nook Color.

Barnes & Noble to Launch a $349 Android Tablet with the Nook Color 2? September 26, 2011 um 12:14 am

[…] and has been working on an upgrade to the Nook Color too. Apparently, according to a report by The Digital Reader, it plans to launch two new devices this year: 1. An upgrade to the Nook Color priced at $249 […]

New Nook E-Book Readers Leaked | Gadget News and Reviews – September 26, 2011 um 10:23 am

[…] The Digital Reader, via TechCrunch   // No Comments […]

PlusGadget Update September 26, 2011 um 12:16 pm

[…] its interesting to note that according to The Digital Readers  blog, BN will be releasing two new tablets this year.So three new Nooks are supposedly on the […]

Barnes & Noble Likely To Launch A New Nook Color – eBookNewser September 26, 2011 um 12:24 pm

[…] This comes as Amazon is likely to put out a tablet computer. This has been rumored to happen for a while, and Amazon just announced a press conference next week, where we expect to see this release. Via The Digital Reader. […]

Kindle Fire Kindle Tablet « Kindle Review – Kindle 3 Review, Kindle vs Nook September 26, 2011 um 5:07 pm

[…] Color 2 is code-named Encore and Acclaim (there are supposedly two models – thanks to Nate at The Digital Reader for the scoop). The lower end model with be $249 and the higher end model will be […]

Kindle Fire musings, Kobo Vox as the Dark Horse, Nook Color 2 thoughts « Kindle Review – Kindle 3 Review, Kindle vs Nook September 27, 2011 um 3:10 pm

[…] Nate the Great’s B&N has 2 Tablets sources are correct, then B&N is showing more ambition than Amazon and will have […]

juan September 28, 2011 um 1:59 am

duh….just realized; $350 Acclaim B&N tablet will be 10″ screen. that’s my prediction and i’m stickin' to it….

Is Amazon's tablet really the 'Kindle Fire'? | ZDNet September 28, 2011 um 9:06 am

[…] for this holiday season to compete with the popular Barnes & Noble Nook Color, which is also rumored to be introducing two updated Nook Colors this […]

Ahmed September 30, 2011 um 10:58 am

I was going for a Nook Touch based on the hardware buttons and android rooting, but first I had to wait to see what amazon will come up with, then I decided to go ahead with nook touch, then I saw this, and I have to wait more to see If the Nook touch will get a refresh, tiresome waiting. Any estimated time, or any more data on the Nook smart touch?

Daily Deal: NooKColor for $150 – The Digital Reader September 30, 2011 um 2:08 pm

[…] this now or wait to see what B&N announce next month? It’s pretty clear to everyone that B&N are about to release a replacement. Not much is known about the NookColor Acclaim, but based on my sources it will be a major hardware […]

melajara October 14, 2011 um 7:15 am

All the mobile devices market (smartphones, eReaders, tablets) is now hampered by several delays

-The much anticipated el Kad NVIDIA 4 cores (actually 5) platform should have been available since August, actually it will be out just for Christmas.

-The eInk Triton color display for eReaders is not yet available in large quantity. In the mean time, it seems that its resolution dropped too.

-On the Amoled front Samsung and LG are in trouble to ramp up production of their "Retina" displays.

This is why the current crop of new products are not groundbreaking (including the iPhone 4s).

Kare October 15, 2011 um 6:47 pm

Ya. I have to get

Kobo Vox Now Up for Pre-order – Ships on 28 October – The Digital Reader October 19, 2011 um 10:41 am

[…] notice that Kobo also beat the ship date for the Kindle Fire and the (it’s coming eventually) Nook Color Acclaim? Good for […]

Qualcomm Mirasol Still on Schedule for a Fall Release – So What? – The Digital Reader October 20, 2011 um 10:38 am

[…] out with a killer tablet and they’re going to attract a lot of consumers. (I wonder if the B&N NookColor Acclaim is going to have a Mirasol […]

Karen October 25, 2011 um 2:47 am

I was so excited about this news! But October is almost gone and there’s still no word on when this will be available 🙁 The wait is killing me. I want to get a new Smart Touch to replace my classic Nook. Maybe get that new Nook Color too. 2 useful gadgets for less than the price of an iPad.

Any idea when this will be out?

Nate Hoffelder October 25, 2011 um 8:09 am

No clue. I thought it would happen this month.

BN Employee October 27, 2011 um 10:09 pm

Every morning at work, we have a meeting. We discuss everything from new cafe product to books and music/dvd releases, as well as store goals. This morning, during our meeting, we were talking about this brand new NOOK department. Nook has never been considered a department, ever. Our store has went through an entire makeover the past couple weeks. We discontinued music/dvd/and audiobooks. we expanded Toys/Games to the back as a new department. in the center we took away the customer service counter and built a massive NOOK boutique. This space is HUGE, with bright lights, LED TVS, touch screen POS systems, the works. Our manager told us, this space was not designed to house just 2 nooks. He was being candid, he said, November 7th there will be a major announcement from the company. he concluded saying it was exciting times. Obviously something is coming.

Barnes & Noble to Ship New NookColor on 7 November? – The Digital Reader October 27, 2011 um 10:17 pm

[…] sure you recall that about a month ago I posted on a leaked slide from a Barnes & Noble meeting. My source had given me proof that B&N had a new NookColor coming (I thought there were 2, but […]

Barnes & Noble Now Sending Out Invites for Nook Launch – 7 November – The Digital Reader October 31, 2011 um 2:02 pm

[…] a good chance that we’re going to see the launch of the NookColor Acclaim, B&N’s new tablet. Few details have been leaked, but I can authoritatively say that the Acclaim has between 1 and 3 […]

Nook Color? What New Nook Color? Why New Nook Color? | TechnoBuffalo October 31, 2011 um 7:15 pm

[…] and more than one source has been speculating for awhile now that the kissing cousins could be collaborating on an Android-based gaming tablet. A $349 – or better yet, $299 – tablet with dual focuses on gaming and general […]

Pipeline November 1, 2011 um 11:08 am

Required in-store meetings with district managers have been scheduled next week for managers and digital leads and/or Nook savvy booksellers.

New NookColor Leaked – $249, Dual Core CPU – The Digital Reader November 3, 2011 um 6:26 pm

[…] I predicted a month ago that the NookColor would be getting a hardware update and the Acclaim would be all new hardware. It looks like B&N will release the upgraded NookColor that I predicted, only it’s going to be the Acclaim tablet. […]

I Don’t Think B&N Unveiled Their $350 Tablet Today – The Digital Reader November 7, 2011 um 10:22 pm

[…] 6 weeks back I was handed a leaked slide that hinted at a pair of Nook Color tablets, with one priced at $250 and the other priced at $350. This raised my hopes for an updated NC and a […]

Inside the Nook Tablet – The Digital Reader November 21, 2011 um 11:03 am

[…] $350 Acclaim that I found on the leaked powerpoint slide. (I could not have been more wrong about that slide.) I looked at the specs and didn’t think they added up to $350. Well, I was wrong. The source […]

7 eReader & eBook Sites You Should Bookmark January 21, 2012 um 3:51 pm

[…] pc news. It’s obvious that Nate has some inside connections too, when he’s posting news that large sites like TechCrunch link to. Nate also posts reviews on games, software and daily […]

I Didn’t Get an Invite to Yesterday’s Nook Event Because I’m Too Good at My Job – The Digital Reader April 13, 2012 um 6:31 pm

[…] like. The Nook Store security leak story from last month would be a good example, or the Nook Color Acclaim, the November Nook Tablet launch, or the leaked signage from earlier this week.To put it simply, […]

B&N is Shutting Down One of Its Top Three Digital Blunders on 15 March | The Digital Reader June 9, 2016 um 1:04 pm

[…] back to 2011, we recall that the original Kindle Fire, for example, torpedoed B&N's plans to sell the Nook Tablet for $349 in late 2011 when the KF launched with a price tag of $199. (Even though the KF lacked Google Play, […]

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