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B&N to Ship New Tablet, eReader in October, Sources Say

nook hd blogAside from constantly lowering the price and changing their minds on production decisions, Barnes & Noble hasn’t gotten much press for their hardware these past couple months. But that is about to change.

Two different sources inside B&N have independently told me that Barnes & Noble has new hardware launching next month. For obvious reasons I cannot tell you their names, but I can say that the reports agreed with past leaks and included enough detail to convince me.

One of my sources works at a B&N store, and they said that a new tablet is launching in October. He caught sight of a memo which mentioned specifically a tablet (and not just a device). The memo didn’t include details on the launch date, unfortunately, but my source also told me that their store was projected to have higher digital sales in October than previous months.

I was also told that the expected increase in sales was large enough that it very likely indicated a tablet. Past ereader launches didn’t generate as large of a jump in sales, or so I was told.

Or perhaps I should say that an ereader launch alone wouldn’t be enough to generate the expected spike in sales, because my other source has indicated that B&N is launching a tablet and an ereader in the next few weeks.

Again, I don’t have specs (yet), but I was told that the launch is expected to happen before 1 October, which would tie in quite well with past leaks.

As you probably recall, in early August I posted about 3 leaked product listings for accessories for new Nook models. Those leaked product listings said that the accessories would be available by 1 October which is only 2 weeks away. My source at the time expected them to be called the Nook SW and Nook AV, but I thought those were code words – SW being short for Nook Simply White and Nook AV (audio/video) indicating that it was a tablet.

That is just speculation, but at this point I think there is a greater than even chance that the rumors are true. Even B&N has said that they will launch new hardware; the only thing we didn’t know for sure was when or what kind.

But now that I have 3 different sources of info, I would say that the launch is a near certainty.

Nook Aura HD, anyone?

P.S. If anyone has info they would like to leak or rumors they would like to share, feel free to leave an anonymous comment. As you can see I do not reveal my sources.

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fjtorres September 16, 2013 um 12:08 pm

I wonder if Nook eink sales are low enough they can get by with a plastic substrate screen.
Or if they’ll bite the bullet and ship the eink Nook unlocked, with Play installed.
Their value proposition needs something more than just "we’re B&N and our fans love us".

CJJ September 16, 2013 um 2:03 pm

Doubling down on failure? Hard to believe, not that I question your sources, just B&N management.

Smoley September 17, 2013 um 2:03 am

We all know your unnamed source is Digi-Times so why didn’t you spill the beans on the new Nook smartphone and the 60″ Nook flat screen TV?

Nate Hoffelder September 17, 2013 um 6:56 am

If my source were Digitimes I would have written that.

Leo Vega September 17, 2013 um 12:46 pm

What I most want to know is if their expansion plans are still up. It’s true that US is a big market, but it’s the more populated one, also… And the addition of the UK is not enough. Take the amazon example: they didn’t sell the kindle in Latin America oficialy, but it was way too easy to buy it (now they sell it in Mexico, at least) I donÂżt know how much revenew it produced, but man, it’s at least a window, and I think the pros are greater than the cons. The same goes to Asia and so; BN can’t reamin in the US and UK, it has to go out

Nate Hoffelder September 17, 2013 um 12:59 pm

MS has expansion plans; B&N is merely going to implement them.

And yes, the expansion is still planned for at least 10 markets. It should happen eventually.

Bree September 17, 2013 um 7:51 pm

Nothing on the FCC website? I would think any NOOK B&N is planning would have already had to been blessed by now…

Nate Hoffelder September 17, 2013 um 8:28 pm

I have not found anything yet.

Bree September 18, 2013 um 12:10 pm

Then I wonder if they are already re-branding someone else’s devices for this release, then. The FCC filings wouldn’t be filed under them then…

Totally reaching, but what if the reason why the Sony T3 isn’t released in the US is because B&N is their new partner…

Nate Hoffelder September 18, 2013 um 12:19 pm

Sony as B&N’s partner would best be described as a case of the blind leading the blind. It’s not a good partnership, but it’s also not impossible.

EDMC September 17, 2013 um 8:59 pm

New Nook E-ink + front light + HiDPI + large screen + Android based + Root = FTW!

Byron Followell September 18, 2013 um 8:12 am

Well, I’m happy for them, but I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll never again be a B&N early adopter. Two years in a row now, I’ve purchased their newest electronic toy, only to see it selling for a 40%+ discount within 6 to 8 months. That’s a hard pill to swallow once, but twice is ridiculous. I’m happy for all those that got such great deals but next time, if there ever is a next time for me, I’ll be one of those getting a good deal. I’ll be waiting a minimum of 6 to 8 months after release before I purchase any future B&N products.

Nate Hoffelder September 18, 2013 um 8:45 am

I got dinged myself, once.

fjtorres September 25, 2013 um 11:27 am

When I got my FireHD8.9 I lusted after the LTE model but the price was $100 more than I could justify. Three months later, the price dropped to where I might’ve stretched for it.
Alas, that is life in the tech toy business.
Sooner or later you have to take the plunge and hope for the best.

Gary September 25, 2013 um 11:10 am

Byron, GOOD point !

How would anyone feel after putting a couple of hundred dollars down on an e-reader to see it approx. 6 months later (or less) at half the price (or less). And it doesn’t matter what company side of the fence we’re talking about here (Kindle vs. Nook vs. the rest). I’ll use myself as an example here, if I were to pick up the HD now for just over a hundred dollars – it would probably be a better bet than waiting and paying premium dollar on the "NEW" Nook color tablet – oh my, oh my. Sure, the new model will probably sport a higher 'clock rate' (for those that know the difference between physical movement = speed and the frequency domain), a camera, GPS (perhaps) and louder speaker system. The current dual-core processor is adequate, I could care less about a camera or GPS and with inexpensive headphones these days – audio is not an issue. So, for the little over $100 right now for the HD, I don’t believe it’s anything to be ashamed of since you’ve not got a king’s ransom invested. Further, if it "breaks" in the next 12 months (warranty period) what are 'they' going to replace it with? 🙂 Point being – this can work both ways…

Mags September 25, 2013 um 2:58 pm

I would say that I got to use the new toy for six months, while others waited with their noses pressed up against the glass, wishing they had one.

That’s not to say that waiting isn’t a fine idea–I got my Nook ST when it went on sale for $79–but I am looking forward to the new eInk Nook. If it’s frontlit like the Glow and has a higher-res screen, I’ll be buying it at release, and happy to pay a premium.

You can have your tech quickly or cheaply, but rarely both at once.

Nook Fan October 1, 2013 um 4:35 am

It’s October 1, almost 5am. I’ve been scouring google for any news of any new nook but still nothing. I really want a nook ereader with some backlighting to read at night but decided to wait for the new model to come out since I already have the nook simple touch (no glowlight), and because of the infamous glowlight tear issue. B&N better release their new models soon or my budget’s going to be used to fund a galaxy tab 3 7.0 instead.

I like nook because it just looks better than Kindle and has a microsd slot. No expansion slot + proprietary format is a dealbreaker for me so it’s no to any Kindle. Besides, I feel like Amazon is the Apple of the ereader universe. I tried an iCrap once and hated it so much, I hated it (especially iTunes) with the passion of a thousand burning suns… and Amazon just reminds me so much of Apple..

I’ve been anticipating B&N’s new models since I first heard the rumors and I’m starting to lose interest out of frustration… what is taking so long..?

Nate Hoffelder October 1, 2013 um 6:51 am

I’m still expecting to see the news today. It would make sense, given yesterday’s news about the new Nook management, that B&N would follow a personnel announcement with a hardware announcement.

Happy Customer October 29, 2013 um 5:22 am

Why do people hate Barnes & Noble so much? We’ve had every generation of nook at my house except the Glow Light (I couldn’t justify replacing my current Simple Touch since I also have a backlit tablet) for a total of 7 devices. The newest HD devices have been awesome. I paid premium price for our first HD+ and got an amazing deal on the second. The in store service has been great. The extended warranty replaced 2 of my devices after the first year. As for price drops after 6-8 months, that’s technology and that’s competition. Barnes and Noble scaling back on their ereaders and tablets is smart. If you can’t win because of all the competition, then choose another battle. Have you seen the expansions in some of their stores? I think reinventing themselves and redefining how they do business will save them from the fate of other booksellers.

anthony w October 29, 2013 um 10:00 am

I have the Nook simple touch and the Nook tablet, bought them when they first came out due to the microsd card which many other readers and tablets now also offer.

The NST does everything in an ereader I need or want. With Calibre I back up all book purchases to a microsd card. I have about four thousand books in pdf format and the NST is great for these. ( all also on a microsd card )

The Nook tablet is Great. The web browser works extremely well for me, quick, responsive and so far no place on the web I can’t go with it. My email works on the NT just as well as on my laptop using the same email service. I use a Logitech Bluetooth transmitter, so no wires for headphones or external speakers. I also use Tools4Movies and have converted my entire dvd collection ( movies and tv shows ) on to the sd cards and watch what I want, when I want wherever I am. Tools4Movies is extremely easy to use.

I’m very happy with both the NST and NT, haven’t upgraded to the HD models because so far I don’t need to.

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