Barnes & Noble is reportedly working on a new e-reader device that could help the book publisher take on both Amazon and the international market.
Barnes & Noble’s line of Nook e-reader devices, which first debuted in 2009, are helping the company boost its digital sales of e-books. The Nook also helps Barnes & Noble compete against online retail giant Amazon, which has its own line of Kindle e-readers, as well as a healthy lead in the international market.
The U.S. book company is apparently “putting final touches” on a fifth e-reading device that will be released in spring of 2012, according to a recent New York Times report. The news doesn’t indicate if the new Nook e-reader device will be an e-ink device or an upgraded version of its Android OS-based tablet. But given that the company just released the Nook Tablet, its second Android slate, it’s far more likely that we’ll see a new e-ink device.
The report also indicates that Barnes and Noble is planning to announce a partnership with U.K. book retailer Waterstones, which has over 300 locations. This would line up with comments made in December by Barnes & Noble VP of Digital Content Theresa Horner, who told The BookSeller that the company would be making an international launch in the near future.
It wouldn’t be unheard of for Barnes & Noble to release a new Nook tablet this spring, but I don’t think the company would do so for the specific purpose of entering the international market. If the line of Nooks make it into Waterstone stores, it may be under the same partnership Barnes & Noble has forged with other booksellers here in the U.S. For instance, Books-a-Million sells the Nook line of e-readers without any branding from Barnes & Noble.
We’re reaching out to Barnes and Noble for further comment and will update the post with any addition information.