Bookseller Barnes & Noble unveiled its Android-powered Nook Tablet during a media event Monday morning, concurrently announcing a new partnership with mobile app store solutions provider MobiHand that extends the Nook Apps storefront to the MobiHand developer community. Barnes & Noble will leverage MobiHand's ChannelConnect service, which offers app stores a one-stop source to boost their content inventory alongside tools to more effectively manage app inventory and performance--ChannelConnect also promises developers a single contract and automated management system, enabling them to submit one build and single version updates across all stores.
Nook Apps offers developers 70 percent of all premium download revenues, with no program sign-up fee--the store also offers the option to offer free Android app trials to consumers. According to Barnes & Noble, bestselling Nook Apps releases have generated more than $100,000 within the first 30 days of sale--an Evans Data survey of registered Nook developers commissioned by the book chain states that the storefront is the number one Android-based application platform in terms of revenue channels, and the number two platform overall.
The new Nook Tablet touts access to a wealth of e-books, mobile applications and HD video content as Barnes & Noble goes head-to-head with rival Amazon.com's forthcoming Kindle Fire. Priced at $249, which is $50 more than the Kindle Fire, the Nook Tablet (due Nov. 17) boasts twice the RAM of its competitor and double the storage, offering consumers access to millions of books as well as more than 250 periodicals, many with interactive features. Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said the tablet will preload Hulu Plus and Netflix video services as well as streaming music solution Pandora, also offering access to thousands of other applications. "Kindle Fire is deficient for a media tablet," Lynch said. "Content will render better on Nook than on Kindle Fire."
The Android 2.3-based Nook Tablet also includes a seven-inch VividView IPS color touchpanel with 1024 x 600 screen resolution, a 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP4 processor, 16GB of inbuilt storage, a microSD expansion slot, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity and support for file formats including ePUB, PDF, XLS, DOC, PPT, TXT, DOCM, Flash, JPG, MP3, MP4 and AAC. B&N promises approximately 11.5 hours of battery life in e-reader mode and about nine hours dedicated to video viewing. Like the Kindle Fire, the Nook Tablet does not feature wireless network connectivity. Barnes & Noble states it will update its Nook SDK to support the tablet's new features, and is also working to streamline ingestion and roll out new merchandising programs.
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