According to The Wall Street Journal, official details are scarce besides the fact that B&N has already filed for the mystery device with the Securities and Exchange Commission:
The filing said simply that the company, in the meeting, "indicated it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011, regarding the launch of a new eReader device."
There are a few possibilities here. The WSJ poses the idea of a Honeycomb-based tablet, which would seem plausible in order to compete with Amazon's Samsung-made tablet that is rumored to be launching this summer.
Another way in which B&N could be competing with Amazon is a cheaper, ad-based tablet that would be targeted towards students and anyone else who doesn't want to shell out more than $100 or so for an e-book reader.
However, given how far B&N has gotten with the Nook Color in terms of technology and even sales success, it might be a step backwards to continue working on electronic ink e-readers. As far as those go, a price drop would be more welcome than a new model.
Related coverage on ZDNet:
- Barnes & Noble says Microsoft is attacking Android with its patent-infringement claims
- Android 3.0-based Sony 3G/4G tablets to debut this fall
- Review: Barnes & Nobles' Nook Color goes Android Tablet
- Kindle for Android now optimized for Honeycomb tablets
- Top 10 tablets of 2011, the new leaderboard