updated 06:29 pm EDT, Fri July 20, 2012
Bookseller may refresh Nook line with features new to tablets
Barnes & Noble may be rolling out the the successor to its Nook Tablet this fall. Sources familiar with the company's operations tell CNet that the bookseller will release a tablet device that will improve on the 7-inch tablets B&N has previously released. The report is low on specifics, but the device is said to be B&N's way of keeping up with Google's Nexus 7 and similar devices expected from Apple and Amazon.
The rumored Nook refresh is said to be lighter than its predecessors, though the source had no information on whether or not it would be thinner. The device is said to have been developed in-house by Barnes & Noble, and it will retain the company's focus on the reading experience as a central feature. B&N's Nook Store will likely be expanded, though, to add multimedia options comparable with those of Google, Apple, and Amazon's stores.
One vague hint about the device has it featuring something that has "not been seen in another product before." The source wasn't forthcoming on what exactly that feature might be, but it was made clear that it had been developed by Barnes & Noble in partnership with another company. Possibly related was the statement that adjustments to the Nook Store would integrate media options not seen before on a tablet.
The source maintains that Barnes & Noble will not be moving away from the heavily skinned Android operating system that currently powers its Nook offerings. This despite the company's new collaborative efforts with Microsoft. The collaboration between the two companies had led some to presume that any future Nook tablets might well feature Microsoft's tablet-friendly Windows 8 operating system.
There was no word on pricing or availability, but some expect the device to launch in late September or October. The tablet would likely need to be priced around the range of Google's Nexus 7 or Amazon's rumored Kindle Fire refresh in order to be competitive.