I suspect they are trying to match Amazon's capabilities. What it does (or doesn't do) for Smashwords is unlikely to be a primary concern. BN is running scared--and they should be. I think they're making some brilliant moves to stay relevant as the world moves to digital. Whether they'll be enough is hard to tell.
For what it's worth, deal with BN directly (and Amazon directly, of course) but still use Smashwords for incremental coverage, including coverage of the iPad platform.