Barnes and Noble is the largest bookselling chain in the United States and the company has been in a state of utter and complete turmoil for the past seven years. The company had a revolving door of five different CEO’s, until it was sold to Elliot, which is a hedge fund. They also own Waterstones, who are the largest booksellers in the United Kingdom. Ever since James Daunt became the CEO of both companies, things started to turnaround. New executives were installed at the highest levels, to help chart a new direction. The first phase was to shut down underperforming stores, mostly in malls and remodel existing stores. The Nook department has new senior director and a vice president and it looks like they have been working on a secret project, called the Nook Glowlight 4. This new e-reader will come out in the first week of December and recently passed FCC certification.
What is interesting about the FCC application is that it was issued by Nook Digital, and not Netronix, which has issued them in the past. The documents were signed off by Carlo Pochintesta, who is the chief operating officer of the entire Nook division. He was hired in 2019 and had 25 years experience in managing IT departments at various companies. The FCC application is embargoed, so all pictures and technical specs will be released at a future date.
The Barns and Noble Nook Glowlight 4 model number is BNRV1100. The screen size is six inches and will have 300 PPI. There will be a quad-core processor, by Allwinner and will be running at 1.5 GHZ. It will have 32GB of internal storage, this device is using KINGSTON EMMC32G TX29GA8A. In the retail packaging there will be a Asus EXA1205UA, which is a USB-C to USB-A cable. So the new Nook will finally have USB-C. It will be powered by a Eve Energy PR-284983N, which is a lithium ion battery. According to the model number it will provide 1400 mAh, so usage should be a good 3-4 weeks, before you need to recharge. There is also Bluetooth 5.1 and WIFI 802.11b and 802.11g/n. It will be running Android 8.1
According to a new image, it looks like the new Nook will have physical page turn buttons and a home button and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Will B&N finally be releasing an e-reader that can play Nook audiobooks? The company has been selling them for a number of years, but has always been considered a lame duck, since the platform is never promoted.
Why did Barnes and Noble wait so long to release a new Nook when Amazon and Kobo both released new models in late October and early November. This is directly attributed to the EPD and precious metal shortage in China. I know that all of these companies used to deal with one manufacturer to make the devices and source all of the components. This year, basically everyone had to source their own components, which creates big delays. Smaller brands such as Remarkable, Fujitsu, Supernote, and Boyue have been sold out of everything for months, including accessories. B&N is still a major player, so they can afford to pay the higher fees to secure more EPD panels, since E INK is charging more per panel. So it is very likely that they will be plentiful, sold in 600 stores and online.
Currently, Barnes and Noble has signage in a number of their bookstores, advertising the new Nook, but all of the store employees, currently don’t know anything about it. We shouldn’t have to wait too long until the full specs are released. Keep your browsers locked to Good e-Reader for more Nook news.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.