In an attempt to catch up to the No. 2 tablet seller, Amazon, Barnes & Noble will soon launch a cheaper 8GB model of the Nook Tablet.
The new device was first reported on by tech blog The Verge, which noted the Nook Tablet currently costs $50 more than the Amazon Kindle Fire. The tech blog said the device appears to be the same as a previous model, but with less onboard storage.
A recent report from IHS iSupply showed Amazon had the second-most tablet unit shipments during the fourth quarter of 2011. Amazon shipped 3.9 million units of the Kindle Fire during the fourth quarter, which was 14.3 percent market share of unit shipments.
Barnes & Noble ranked fourth in the same study. The company captured 7 percent of the fourth-quarter market share in unit shipments. Barnes & Noble sold 1.9 million units.
Barnes & Noble will lower storage capacity on the Nook Tablet in an attempt to cut costs on the device itself. That will significantly reduce the amount of room the device lets users store digital media including magazines, movies, music and more.
According to rumors, Apple is also considering shrinking the size of its tablet device to reduce costs. The smaller device has been dubbed the iPad Mini by some, including ZDNet.
Whether a cheaper tablet will translate into sales for these companies remains to be seen; however, the price of the Kindle Fire did help Amazon become the second in tablet shipments during the fourth quarter of 2011.