Kobo, the global eBook retailer, today announced support for dedicated eReaders with a new application available through its “Powered by Kobo” partner program for hardware manufacturers and retailers. Kobo’s application provides a world-class eReading experience and storefront and will be embedded in leading eReaders launching in 2010. The company today also unveiled its Kobo eReader, a dedicated eReading device showcasing its new application.
The launch of the Kobo eReader application marks a first in this emerging market – standard software available for hardware partners worldwide. Kobo has developed a strong global following for its eReading applications for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre, and Android-based smartphones, and full color, touchscreen tablets including the upcoming iPad.
“We believe consumers want choice, and the freedom to read on any device. Building great eReading applications and partnering with leading device manufacturers is a recipe for success in this quickly growing market,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo. “Our ‘Powered by Kobo’ program accelerates the time to market for manufacturers of new devices and delivers more options for consumers. By providing a world-class catalog, complementary mobile applications and global infrastructure, partners can start selling eBooks in a matter of days.”
The “Powered by Kobo” program provides a flexible solution for partners to launch an eReader or eBook store offering eBooks, newspapers and magazines to their customers. Partners have access to applications for smartphones, netbooks and laptops, new tablets, and now dedicated eReaders. They also have access to API’s, a software development kit, a mobile storefront, and custom integration options to differentiate their offering. Whether a partner is looking for software, content or everything in between, “Powered by Kobo” can meet their needs.
Kobo’s eReader application allows users to read eBooks in both standard ePUB and PDF formats, and supports eBooks, subscriptions (newspapers, magazines) and documents. Any “Powered by Kobo” eReader application is in sync with a user’s Kobo account and any Kobo-enabled device for continuous reading. The eReader application supports a range of hardware options with various screen types including eInk and LCD screens, as well as various connectivity options – USB, Bluetooth, WIFI and 3G.
The new Kobo eReader showcases the new software and will make eReading more accessible to consumers. This stylized, easy-to-use, and affordable eInk based reader will be available for a limited time through Kobo’s retail partners for $149USD. It will be pre-loaded with 100 classic books so consumers can start reading right out of the box. Consumers can easily access Kobo’s catalog of over 2 million eBooks, including today’s bestsellers, newspapers and magazines through USB or wirelessly through Bluetooth. The Kobo eReader will be available first at Indigo Books & Music in Canada in May, followed by Borders in the US this summer. It will be the first of many dedicated eReaders preloaded with the Kobo eReader software.
For information specific to the new Kobo eReader, visit www.KoboeReader.com.
About Kobo, Inc.
Kobo is a global eReading service backed by majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music, Borders Group, REDgroup Retail, and Cheung Kong Holdings. Kobo believes consumers should be able to read any book on any device. With a catalog of over two million eBooks, and an open platform, Kobo enables retailers, device manufacturers and mobile operators to bring the joy of eReading to customers everywhere. For more information, visit www.kobobooks.com.