Barnes & Noble on Thursday announced a strategic partnership with Samsung in which the duo will work together to produce Nook tablets. Specifically, the resulting devices will consist of Samsung hardware loaded with Nook software to gain access to the bookseller’s collection of more than 3 million newspapers, magazines and books.

The partnership is likely a last-ditch effort to try and keep the Nook division alive. As CNET points out, the Nook business has fallen off the deep end in recent memory. During the most recent quarter, sales were down more than 50 percent which prompted shareholders to call for drastic changes or shut the division down.

With hardware design now passed off to Samsung, Barnes & Noble is free to focus on the Nook software and content sales. The latter has also been suffering as of late with sales down 26.5 percent year-over-year during the most recent quarter.

It’s obvious why Barnes & Noble would want in on such a partnership but we aren’t really sure what Samsung is getting out of the deal. Its tablet business is doing just fine on its own and doesn’t need the additional brand recognition. Samsung didn’t provide any insight so perhaps it just all comes down to money?

The first Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will carry a 7-inch display and should be available for purchase in the US in August.