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Mysterious Nook Audio Product Pops Up on Barnes & Noble Website

by Killian Bell | April 4, 2012April 4, 2012 6:04 am PDT

Nook Audio listing

Barnes & Noble stepped foot into the tablet ring earlier this year with its 7-inch Nook tablet that sells for just $199. Just two months later, it could be gearing up to take on the iPod with the Nook Audio OE250.

Now, I should just make this clear from the start, no one actually knows that the Nook Audio is at this point. The mysterious device popped up on Barnes & Noble’s website this morning, but it was not accompanied by an image or a product description. That suggests the listing was actually posted accidentally, but hours later, it’s still there.

As you’d expect, the listing has sparked speculation over what the Nook Audio may be. Some suggest it could be a speaker dock, or an e-reader with text-to-speech functionality, or maybe even an MP3 player. Following its foray into the tablet market, it could be that Barnes & Noble sees the opportunity to compete with devices like the iPod, possibly with a focus on audiobooks.

The Verge digs a litter deeper and takes a closer look at its product code:

The one nugget of information we may have to go on is the product code nested in the URL. The Nook Audio OE250 has an eight-digit code beginning with 23, similar to speaker products from companies like i-home that tend to have codes in the 22x-23x range. This is opposed to, say, the Nook tablets and readers, which have longer ten-digit codes beginning with 110.

That suggests, then, that this in fact just a speaker as opposed to a Nook-branded personal media player. But again, this is simply speculation based on very little information.

All we do know is, it’s definitely something — and not just a template or placeholder. A trademark for the “Nook Audio” name was filed back in February by Fission LLC, Barnes & Noble’s legal team.

What do you think the Nook Audio may be?

[via The Verge]

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...