Tablet makers and publishers are locked in a symbiotic embrace, with both sides looking to the other to help bolster demand for their product.
In the latest such partnership, Barnes & Noble has joined forces with The New York Times for a limited-time offer. Customers who buy a digital subscription to The New York Times on Nook can get a free Nook Simple Touch or a Nook Color for the reduced price of $99 -- down from the normal sale price of $199.
B&N customers can take advantage of the special promotion at one of the chain’s 700 bookstores or online at www.nook.com/nyt; the offer lasts until March 9, 2012. It is also available to attendees at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The digital subscription costs $19.99 per month and also gives Nook users unlimited access to NYTimes.com, including regular news updates, opinions, blogs, video and interactive graphics.
B&N isn’t the only company to bundle newspaper subscriptions with discounted e-readers or tablets. The Philadelphia Media Network, which publishes The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, is marketing discounted tablets, manufactured by Arnova and carrying the Android operating system, bundled with digital subscriptions.
In 2010, Hearst Corp. invested in Skiff, a company founded to create both hardware and software for consuming content across a variety of devices, which was later bought by News Corp.
In April 2011, Amazon announced that it would sell a discounted version of its Kindle, offsetting the lower price by showing digital ads on the device.