NEW YORK, N.Y. – Barnes & Noble and Samsung on Wednesday unveiled a new co-branded tablet called the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook that will replace B&N’s own Nook tablets.
The 7-inch Wi-Fi tablet will sell for $179 after a $20 instant rebate, the same entry price of the non-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.
The move had been expected, since Barnes & Noble said in June it would team up with Samsung to develop Nook tablets that would be available in August.
For the first time, the Nook will have a front- and rear-facing camera. It comes with more than $200 in content from the Nook Store, including three e-books such as “Freakonomics”, TV show episodes including HBO’s “Veep” and free 14-day magazine trials. It also offers access to both the Nook app store and Google’s Google Play store for Android apps.
The New York company spent years investing heavily in its Nook e-book reader and e-book library, but they struggled to be profitable. And in December the chain said it was evaluating the future of its tablets. Still it offered a new non-tablet e-book reader during the holiday season.
B&N has been trying to turn itself around as competition from discount stores and online retailers toughens, and as consumers shift away from traditional books to digital formats.
Barnes & Noble says it will continue to make and sell its $99 Nook GlowLight e-readers and provide customer support.
In July, Barnes & Noble said it would split off the company’s retail business, which has been outperforming its Nook unit, and includes its bookstores and BN.com businesses. Nook Media, whose investors include software company Microsoft Corp. and educational book publisher Pearson Inc., houses the digital and college businesses of Barnes & Noble.
The company expects the separation to be complete by the end of the first quarter of the next calendar year, implying April of 2015.