Leave it to the New York Times to stuff a zinger like this in a three-page piece on the future of the publishing industry; it looks like Barnes & Noble is set to announce a new Nook device come this Spring. This will be B&N's fifth Nook device, following the Nook Tablet.


From the New York Times:

Barnes & Noble is trying to strike at Amazon with another device. At its labs in Silicon Valley last week, engineers were putting final touches on their fifth e-reading device, a product that executives said would be released sometime this spring. (A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman declined to elaborate.)

The million dollar question is what, exactly, Barnes & Noble is cooking up. Historically, the full-color Nooks have been announced and released in the fall, smack dab in the middle of the holiday buying season. Both of the e-ink versions were released in June with announcements made in late Spring. If history repeats itself, we may be looking at a follow-up to the Nook Simple Touch.

On the other hand, the e-ink category isn't really conducive to innovation. E-ink readers are designed for simplicity, so adding new features doesn't add too much value. Web browsers, for example, are difficult to use for anything but basic reading on e-ink screens.

Meanwhile, the Nook Tablet is facing some fresh competition from the Kindle Fire. The Nook Tablet has done remarkably well, however, with sales numbers in the millions since its release in November. However, Amazon is brand new to the color tablet game, and at a $50 discount over the comparable Nook Tablet, B&N should be keeping a wary eye on the Fire. An update to the color tablet family might not go amiss, if executed properly.

Then again, perhaps the fifth device will be something new entirely. We are talking about the company that built a dual-screen device with both e-ink and color touchscreen displays. Perhaps B&N will come up with yet another new category.

Further still, the yet-to-be-unveiled Nook device may just be a spec boost to the Nook Simple Touch. No one knows, aside from that Barnes & Noble spokeswoman, but she's not saying.

Source: NYTimes, via The Digital Reader

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Jon Garrett

    hopefully its a $200 Android tablet that's slightly better than the Kindle Fire., lets get the tablet wars going.

  • Kenji

    Lets hope it gets specs near the Asus Memo pad that's $250

  • Kree Terry

    while were hoping lets hope it walks the dog and takes out the trash. Hey I guy can dream right?

  • mrw

    How about something with an unlockable bootloader...

  • http://flavastudio.com LeRoi

    How about *color* e-ink? I mean, come on, this isn't 1984. ;)

  • Spydie

    Color e-ink technology is already here. The company that designed it said they were just waiting for someone to pick it up and run with it as they are not into producing the physical product, only the technology. It's time we get rid of LED and other forms of "lit" screens and have our phones and tablets all be color E-ink... think of the battery savings... a month on a charge!

    • Mgamerz

      Think of the quality slideshow gaming!

  • scott

    I'm not convinced B&N won't end up another Borders, and no matter what they put out, I'm not willing to invest in their products.

  • Stew Miller

    When did Android Police become Gizmodo? Hearsay and speculation should be left for the tabloids...

    • Cory

      Damn, someone poop in your Cheerios this morning???

  • Greg

    The Nook Tablet is a great device ... every bit the equal of the Kindle Fire. All B&N needs to do is loosen up their Android apps availability and this device will be a real contender.

  • Dan

    "the Nook Tablet is facing some fresh competition from the Kindle Fire."

    Huh?? Fresh competition? How is it "fresh" competition when the Nook Tablet came out after the Fire?

    How is it even competition?
    - The Nook Tablet has 16 gig of memory. The Fire has 8 gig.
    - The Nook Tablet has a microSD slot for storage expansion. Fire doesn't.
    - The Nook Tablet has 1 gig of ram. Fire has 512meg.
    - The Nook Tablet opens epub files which means ebooks from pretty much everybody except Amazon. Fire only opens Amazon's proprietary format so you're stuck buying everything only from Amazon (unless you're willing to do the file conversion dance).
    - The Nook Tablet has an IPS2 screen. The Fire doesn't. Hold them side-by-side and you'll start to care.

    In what way is the Fire competition for the Nook Tablet other than being $50 cheaper? The Fire has the Amazon App Store and Kindle books, but you can sideload either/both of those on the Nook Tablet just by loading the APK using the web browser. No root required, no crazy hacks.

    So, the Fire has a bunch of shortcomings compared to the Nook Tablet and it only saves you $50. I'd love to have competition like that.

    The Fire has a way cooler name though.

    • http://mgamerzproductions.com Mgamerz

      That's like saying a $19000 car has way better features than a $15000 car. Either way, they both get you to where you are going, and most times the end consumer doesn't care (or know what most of them do).

      • Dan

        It's more like saying the $15,000 car isn't competition for the $19,000 car. Actually, it's exactly like that.

        The question wasn't rhetorical then and it's still not rhetorical now:
        In what way is the Kindle Fire competition for the Nook Tablet other than being $50 cheaper?

    • AmericanMom

      Love it! Great comparison (from a dedicated Nook Color owner).

    • AmericanMom

      Love it! Great comparison (from a loyal Nook Color owner.) I love my Nook!

  • http://flavastudio.com LeRoi

    Dan. You da man!

  • Josh V

    I'm quite happy with my Simple Touch Nook, but I'm not sure how they can improve much on it other than maybe making it thinner & lighter. And perhaps a better system for covers; mine keeps falling off.

    If it's not e-ink...I don't know, maybe just more powerful. But I don't know that that would be another device as opposed to just a Nook Tablet 2.

  • Alex

    Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight was what it was :)