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Barnes & Noble hopes Mother's Day is kind to Nook

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Barnes & Noble has dropped the price of its Nook tablet just in time for Mother's Day. The Nook HD tablet is now $149, a $50 discount; the larger-screened HD-Plus is $90 off, dropping from $269 to $179. "Amazing price for Mother's Day, in-store and online through 5/12," the bookstore's website reads.

The company's tablet could use a little mother love. Revenues for the Nook line -- which includes single-purpose e-readers as well as the multi-purpose tablets -- declined over the holiday season by more than $100 million from the year before.

The company announced Nook revenues of $316 million for the quarter, which ends in January, compared with $427 million the year prior. In reporting its fiscal results, Barnes & Noble wrote that the decline came about "primarily as a result of lower device unit volume."

Meanwhile, sales of other tablets have continued to climb. Forbes reports that in the same quarter, Apple saw 65.3% year-to-year growth and Amazon 157.1%. Samsung, which has held a smaller share of the market, saw a massive 282% surge in sales over the same period the previous year.

To try to draw customers back to the Nook, this week Barnes & Noble added Google Play to its offerings. That expands the number of apps -- a weak spot in Barnes & Noble's well-reviewed tablet -- to more than 700,000. “It opens up a whole world of content and really gives HD and HD-Plus a unique position,” William J. Lynch Jr., the chief executive of Barnes & Noble, told the N.Y. Times. “There’s no question this is going to accelerate sales.”

It might, if tech-savvy twentysomethings and thirtysomethings are shopping for tablets for Mom. Left to her own devices, a mom who doesn't yet have a tablet may not consider the app possibilities a deciding factor.

For those who just want a plain old e-reader, the Nook's simplest model is its regular price, $79.

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