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Reports say that a new Nook may be coming this spring from Barnes & Noble

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Only a month after Barnes & Noble announced that it might spin off its Nook business into something separate, we’ve heard word that the company may be releasing a new device as early as this spring. The report comes by way of an article in The New York Times that discusses the company’s business plan and foray into the e-reader market. After mentioning that the company has forecasted a financial downturn for 2012, the article hinted at the appearance of a new device in the next few months. 

“Barnes & Noble is trying to strike at Amazon with another device. At its labs in Silicon Valley last week, engineers were putting final touches on their fifth e-reading device, a product that executives said would be released sometime this spring. (A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman declined to elaborate.)” 

While chances are that Barnes & Noble had plans for this device long before the announcement of a possible spin off, it does seem like unlikely timing. The company did not say one way or the other whether it would separate the Nook business from Barnes & Noble or not. It’s also unclear whether this device will be an update on the strict e-reader Nook or if it will be in the tablet category to compete with the Kindle Fire. The Nook Tablet debuted in November but perhaps the company is planning an update with better features? If it’s learned anything from its fiercest competitor, we’d think that perhaps Barnes & Noble is trying to make a bigger impact in the affordable tablet category in the wake of a successful Kindle Fire holiday season. 

Aside from the short mention in the long New York Times article, the company has not released any information on the possibility of a new Nook device. If the engineers really were putting on the “final touches,” though, then we might see a new offering from Barnes & Noble in the upcoming months.