Barnes & Noble launches a last-ditch effort at saving the Nook

Barnes & Noble Samsung Nook

Although some see the Nook’s battle with Amazon’s Kindle series of tablets as a blood-soaked tragedy for Barnes & Noble, the one-time book-selling colossus isn’t giving up on its eReader/tablet line just yet. Barnes & Noble on Thursday announced a new partnership with Samsung in which the companies will co-design a cross-branded tablet called the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK.

The companies didn’t reveal any specs for the device in their joint press release but they did say that a 7-inch version of the tablet will launch in the United States in August. We also know that Samsung’s 7-inch Galaxy Tab 4 features a WXGA display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a 3-megapixel camera, so we should probably expect the Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK to feature similar specs.

Barnes & Noble and Samsung’s full press release follows below.

Samsung and Barnes & Noble Announce Partnership to Create Co-Branded Tablets

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK Combines Leading Samsung Tablet Technology with the Award-Winning NOOK® Reading Experience

NEW YORK & RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J., Jun 05, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) – Samsung Electronics America and NOOK Media, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, Inc., today announced a partnership to develop co-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK tablets that feature the award-winning Barnes & Noble digital reading experience.

The co-branded devices will combine popular Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 hardware with customized NOOK software to give customers powerful, full-featured tablets that are designed for reading, with easy access to Barnes & Noble’s expansive digital collection of more than three million books, leading magazines and newspapers.

The companies are expected to introduce Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK in a 7-inch version in the U.S. in early August. The co-branded tablets will be prominently displayed along with NOOK eReaders and sold at Barnes & Noble’s nearly 700 bookstores across the U.S. and online at bn.com, one of the leading e-commerce sites.

“We are very excited and proud to partner with Samsung, a world-class technology and tablet leader, to create customized co-branded devices featuring our valuable NOOK reading experience and digital content catalog for Barnes & Noble customers nationwide,” said Michael P. Huseby, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc. “Standing behind these great new devices will be the power of our 40,000 Barnes & Noble booksellers combined with our deep bookselling and retail expertise to provide sales support and personalized in-store customer service for our lineup of new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK products. Partnering with Samsung brings our customers great new products and evidences our commitment to our NOOK customers and growing our digital content business.”

Mr. Huseby noted that the Company will continue to offer its NOOK GlowLight™ and continue to provide customer support for its millions of customers. He added that the partnership is a major milestone in Barnes & Noble’s efforts to rationalize the NOOK business. Working with Samsung on co-branded tablets will allow the Company to reduce its exposure to the substantial cost structure and other financial commitments that accompany ownership of the hardware production aspects of the NOOK tablet business. 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.

“Samsung has had a strong relationship with Barnes & Noble, offering the company’s award-winning reading experience to users of Galaxy Tab products,” said Tim Baxter, President of Samsung Electronics America. “Samsung is dedicated to providing consumers with choices that best fit their lifestyle. So, we are excited to be taking this next step with Barnes & Noble to offer Galaxy Tab 4 devices that are tailored to the needs of their customers and enhance the NOOK reading experience.”

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