May 07, 2013, 2:21 PM — If you've been waiting for a discount, it's time to buy: Barnes & Noble is slashing Nook tablet prices by up to 30% as part of a limited Mother's Day promotion.
Barnes & Noble said the 30% off deal applies only through Mother's Day on May 12. You can get for your mom (or yourself) a 7-inch Nook HD 8GB tablet for $149 instead of $199, or the 16GB model for $179. You can also get the 9-inch Nook HD+ 16GB for $179, down from $269; and the 32GB variant for $209. The offer covers purchases on Nook.com as well as Barnes & Noble retail outlets.
But Barnes & Noble won't necessarily undercut its rival Amazon, which is also offering Mother's Day discounts. Pricing for the 7-inch Kindle Fire, which sports a far lower resolution than the B&N tablet, starts at $159--$10 more than the discounted 8GB Nook HD. Amazon's Mother's Day deal is on the newer Kindle Fire HD, however, which starts at $199 for 16GB but will also cost $179 through May 12. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD starts at $269, $60 more than the 9-inch Nook HD+.
The Nook HD promo also undercuts the Nexus 7 from Google by $50.
Just for mom, or foreshadowing?
The timing of Barnes & Noble's discount is particularly interesting, since the company announced last week it will add the Google Play app market to Nook tablets. Since it launched, the Nook tablets ran on a forked (custom) version of Android, complete with its curated app and media store. The selection in the Nook store was never expansive, but with the addition of Google Play, Nook tablets users get access to some 700,000 additional apps, as well as Google's suite of apps like Chrome, Gmail, YouTube, and Maps.
The Kindle Fire tablets, by comparison, are limited to Amazon's App Store, which offers far fewer apps than Google Play proper.
Barnes & Noble is no stranger to deals to sell more tablets. In March, the bookseller began offering a Nook Simple Touch e-reader free with every purchase of a Nook HD+, which regularly costs $79. While further price reductions and deals could mean that the Nook HD tablet line is not selling very well, this could also be a way for Barnes & Noble to clear its inventory ahead of a planned refresh of the tablets.