It’s the end of the road for Nook’s own hardware as Barnes & Noble is teaming up with Samsung to produce the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook tablet.
A 7-inch version is scheduled for release in the US in August and the co-branded tablets will be sold at Barnes & Noble’s 700 bookstores and online at bn.com.
B&N says it will continue to sell the Nook GlowLight and to provide customer support. The firm, which has lost many millions of dollars in developing and producing Nook devices, believes the Samsung partnership is a major milestone in its efforts to rationalize the Nook business.
It says working with Samsung on co-branded tablets will reduce its exposure to the substantial cost structure and other financial commitments of the hardware production aspects of the Nook tablet business and to focus on increasing Nook content sales.
There’s no detail on what we can expect in the co-branded Galaxy Tab 4 but the non-Nook Galaxy Tab 4 was recently released and the 7-inch version with 8Gb memory presently sells for around $200. Obviously, you can already buy a Galaxy Tab and load the Nook app, so it’ll be interesting to see what the new deal entails other than pre-installing Nook. The announcement of the deal just refers to “customized Nook software”.
It’s not exactly an exclusive link-up, as Samsung already has a deal with Amazon launching a custom-built ebook service just for Galaxy users using the Samsung for Kindle app.
B&N is also moving its Nook offices and staff to slash costs in a move from the 280,000 sq ft Palo Alto Campus to 88,000 sq ft offices at New Technology Campuses in Santa Clara and Mountain View, California.
This will cut annual occupancy expenses by $10 million and reduce B&N’s future lease commitments by around $102 million. Nook staff will take on the new facility in Santa Clara, California, while Barnes & Noble College’s digital education employees will move to Mountain View. The relocations will happen during the first quarter of next year.