Barnes & Noble Announces Nook Kids And Leaks New Nook Color (Sort Of)

According to PCWorld, Barnes & Noble accidentally spilled the beans on the Nook Color, an as-yet-unannounced product that has been the subject of rumors for a while. It’s a little ironic, given that some details about the Nook were leaked last year by the New York Times, who got their hands on the details from an ad set to be in the paper on the day of the announcement. This time a rogue product page is to blame — screen protectors for the Nook Color made an appearance on Barnes & Noble’s site briefly, showing a picture of the device.

Rumors that this eReader will run on Android probably aren’t far off given that the original Nook does. However, speculation that it may be a challenger to tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab are probably far-fetched. I’m going to speculate that, even with Android, the Nook Color will focus on reading, not tablet functionality, similar to the Pandigital Novel. Of course, my hope is that Barnes & Noble creates something far more compelling. If the $249 price point is real, it had better be.

Add to all this the bookseller’s announcement that they’re launching a section called Nook Kids, which will contain over 12,000 eBooks aimed at 3 – 8 year olds. According to the Wall Street Journal, there will be “picture books, novels and a selection of enhanced editions of classics” that will allow kids to interact with the book (indicating that the Nook Color likely has a touch screen) and set it to read the text to them. Given that enhanced books for kids in this age range are all the rage these days (think Disney Digital Books), this is a good move.

We’ll know all by this time tomorrow, as the Barnes & Noble event is set to start at 4PM Eastern. We’ll blog and tweet the news as it happens, so keep an eye out.

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