March 24, 2010

Kobo Expands Platform with Support for Dedicated eReaders

Company launches Kobo eReader showcasing new application

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.