My guess: This will get the Nook branding and the freely-available Nook software pre-installed. Perhaps there will be some bonus content as well; Samsung already offers $700 worth of digital content and subscriptions for its more expensive tablets. The device will also be sold in Barnes & Noble retail stores next to its own Nook hardware.
Aside from that, however, this sounds like Barnes & Noble trying to expand its tablet line on the back of a well-known hardware partner instead of building new tablets of its own. In February, the company said it would launch a new tablet in fiscal 2015, but stopped short of saying it would build its own. Instead, the official statement read:
“The company is actively engaged in discussions with several world-class hardware partners related to device development as well as content packaging and distribution.”
It sure looks like one of those world-class hardware partners is Samsung.