Barnes & Noble Inc.'s (NYSE:BKS) e-reader and tablet division is taking a new direction by partnering with Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF).
The retail bookstore giant on Thursday announced it has partnered with Samsung to bring co-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook tablets to its stores, running custom Nook software. A 7-inch version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is expected to be introduced in the U.S. sometime in early August at the nearly 700 retail Barnes & Noble locations and at the chain's online store.
Those still looking to purchase Barnes & Noble’s Nook GlowLight will be able to buy the devices as the bookstore rolls out the co-branded Nook tablets, but the bookseller plans to phase out its HD tablets completely.
“As we introduce co-branded tablets with Samsung, we will sunset HD and HD plus tablets,” Barnes & Noble representative Mary Ellen Keating told International Business Times.
While Barnes & Noble plans to phase out its Nook HD and HD-plus tablets, it said it will maintain support for existing customers.
“Importantly, we will continue to support all of our Nook devices, and customers can continue to enjoy their content on their Nook devices and free apps,” Keating said.
This latest move by Barnes & Noble appears to be the result of plans announced last year. In June 2013, the bookstore retail giant announced it would spin off color Nook tablet production to third-party companies, citing mounting losses from its Nook tablets.
Barnes & Noble's move away from hardware manufacturing indicates a change in strategy to focus more on content acquisition.
“Going forward, the company will be able to focus on its proven expertise in acquiring and delivering the best digital reading experience to grow Nook content sales,” according to a press release from the bookseller.