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article imageBarnes & Noble is building a new Nook tablet powered by Android

By James Walker     Oct 31, 2016 in Technology
E-reader manufacturer Barnes & Noble is building a new Android-powered tablet under its abandoned Nook brand, according to a regulatory filing recently discovered. It is thought the budget device is intended to directly rival Amazon's $50 Fire tablet.
Barnes & Noble's Nook devices were originally designed to take on the Amazon Kindle in the rush to digital books. The company's products failed to gain the same consumer attention though. It gave up on creating its own hardware, instead rebranding some Samsung tablets as "Nook" in an attempt to retain its foothold in the market.
Despite its previous failures, Barnes & Noble is now trying again to launch a successful tablet. A recent FCC filing reveals the company is developing a 7-inch device called, unimaginatively, the Nook Tablet 7. The logos on the rear reveal it is a Barnes & Noble product, built by the Shenzhen Jingwah Information Technology Company in China.
The tablet is powered by a quad-core MediaTek MTM8163 ARM Cortex-A53 processor accompanied by a Mali-T720 MP2 graphics chip. It has a micro-USB port for charging and connectivity, a microSD card slot, cameras on the front and rear and a large 3,000mAh battery. The device runs Android and includes access to the Google Play Store.
The regulatory filing reveals little else about the device. However, the low-end specifications and small form factor have led some to speculate Barnes & Noble intends to aggressively rival Amazon. The Nook Tablet 7 could compete with Amazon's $50 Fire tablet, a device that has proven popular with the masses. This would mark a departure from Barnes & Noble's current use of the Nook brand.
The 7-inch Nook tablet available to purchase today is actually a rebadged Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. It retails at $129.99. Barnes & Noble now appears to be disillusioned with simply reselling existing products. By entering the market at a lower price point, the company could be able to start shipping tablets in sufficient volumes to finally compete with Amazon.
It's a tall order from a company that has failed to keep up in the digital age though. Amazon's Kindle and Fire have proved to dominate over their rivals, even pushing existing market leaders out of business. In 2014, Sony, one of the first mainstream e-reader producers, stopped selling its devices as the rise of the Kindle attracted customers away from its brand.
It isn't known when Barnes & Noble intends to launch the new Nook Tablet 7. The company is likely to be aiming at a launch before the holidays though, a time when Amazon's products traditionally disappear from the shelves. While the FCC filing doesn't confirm the speculation, it looks like Barnes & Noble is having one final try at building a mainstream tablet.
More about Barnes and noble, Nook, nook tablet, Tablets, Android
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