Barnes & Noble’s NOOKcolor turned out to be surprising success among those not only looking for an ereader but a bargain Android tablet as well, and with its latest firmware update B&N was all too pleased to enable the iPad-rivaling functionality. Now, the company has quietly revealed it will be launching a new ereader on May 24, according to an 8-K SEC filing.
The revelation itself is short – “In a meeting with investor analysts on May 4, 2011, Barnes & Noble, Inc. (the “Company”) indicated it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011 regarding the launch of a new eReader device” – and doesn’t give any indication of hardware or capabilities the new device. However, it’s possible that B&N could be unveiling the NOOKcolor 3G, a 3G-enabled version of the existing tablet/ereader hybrid.
The retailer discontinued the NOOK 3G – the WWAN version of its original dual-display Android powered ereader – earlier this year, leaving only the WiFi version on sale. However, given the success of the NOOKcolor and the demand for 3G-equipped tablets, it looks likely that the company could have reconsidered its stance, at least on the newer model. However, the sort of subsidies – which saw users of the original NOOK 3G able to download ebooks without ever seeing a monthly data bill – are unlikely to be carried over to a NOOKcolor 3G.