Bookseller Barnes & Noble told analysts that it expects to announce on May 24 the launch of a new e-reader device, suggesting that the company may be moving further in its strategy to combine its e-reader with tablet PC functionality.

The company already seemed to move in that direction when it released last month a software update, version 1.2, for its Nook Color, that delivers apps, full-featured email and enhanced web browsing.

The company said at the time that it added significant new features and content to the Nook Color, running Android OS 2.2, offering "the best tablet value on the market" at $249 (£151).

The company said in a meeting with investor analysts that it "indicated it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011 regarding the launch of a new eReader device."

Barnes & Noble did not provide details of the new device in the filing. It did not respond immediately to an email request for more information on the device.