January 06, 2011

Kobo Set to Lead eReading Industry Expansion in 2011

eReading Pioneer Provides Platform to over a Dozen Tablet OEM and Mobile Partners 2011 International CES

Kobo, the only pure-play global eRead­ing ser­vice built on an open plat­form, today an­nounced that it has gained ac­cess to more than 20 mil­lion con­sumers through se­cur­ing re­la­tion­ships with over a dozen part­ners that in­clude tab­let and eReader ori­ginal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers (OEMs) and mo­bile op­er­at­ors. Kobo has at­trac­ted key part­ners in­clud­ing Sam­sung and RIM with its unique, in­nov­at­ive, strategy of mak­ing eRead­ing avail­able on any device from its open, cloud-based plat­form.

“In 2011, Kobo will emerge as the lead­ing eRead­ing ser­vice thanks to the ad­op­tion of tab­lets like the iPad, Sam­sung Galaxy Tab and RIM Play­book. We es­tim­ate that Kobo will be pre­loaded on over 20 mil­lion devices this year,” said Mi­chael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo. “As the only pure-play ser­vice in the space, our strategy has al­ways been to make eRead­ing avail­able on any device, and our open-plat­form eRead­ing ap­plic­a­tions and eBook store have proven to be pop­u­lar among tab­let OEMs look­ing to offer eRead­ing to their cus­tom­ers.”

Open stand­ards are es­sen­tial to giv­ing users the free­dom to build and ac­cess their life­time lib­rar­ies as they choose, something that Kobo’s part­ners are aligned with. Kobo’s con­tent is ac­cess­ible through more than ten plat­forms in­clud­ing most smart­phones, iPad, iPhone, Black­Berry, An­droid, An­droid Tab­lets, PC and Win­dows Tab­lets, MAC and Linux. Kobo’s free ap­plic­a­tions are con­sist­ently among con­sumers’ fa­vor­ites, reg­u­larly a top ten app in the iTunes store for 2010. Throughout 2011, Kobo will in­tro­duce sup­port for ad­di­tional plat­forms in­clud­ing QNX for the Black­berry Play­book. Today, Kobo of­fers one of the world’s largest cata­logs of con­tent with over 2.2 mil­lion eBooks from New York Times best­sellers, new re­leases, and much more – ad­di­tion­ally Kobo also of­fers news­pa­pers and magazines, and has a se­lec­tion of over one mil­lion books avail­able to down­load and read for free.

Kobo Part­ner Pro­gram

Kobo of­fers a wide range of eRead­ing solu­tions to part­ners to en­able them to in turn offer eRead­ing solu­tions to their cus­tomer base. Part­ners can dis­trib­ute the Kobo eRead­ing ap­plic­a­tion, which will be avail­able in mul­tiple lan­guages in 2011, of­fer­ing a world-class read­ing ex­per­i­ence for con­sumers. Ad­di­tion­ally, they can also choose to con­nect their device to the Kobo eRead­ing Ser­vice to offer mil­lions of titles world­wide. With Kobo’s global store cap­ab­il­it­ies, selling eBooks in over 100 coun­tries each week, tab­let OEMs can part­ner once with Kobo and dis­trib­ute con­tent world­wide. Kobo also provides pro­fes­sional ser­vices to cre­ate and de­velop a unique and ori­ginal eRead­ing ex­per­i­ence that lever­ages com­pel­ling tab­let or plat­form fea­tures.

In ad­di­tion, Kobo of­fers the Kobo Wire­less eReader to sell through part­ner chan­nels – the new styl­ishly de­signed Kobo Wire­less eReader holds up to 1000 eBooks and con­nects wire­lessly to Kobo’s ro­bust lib­rary al­low­ing cus­tom­ers to shop on the go. The Kobo Wire­less eReader is avail­able for sale today through lead­ing re­tail part­ners in­clud­ing Wal­mart stores and Walmart.​com, Bestbuy.​com, In­digo, Chapters, Bor­ders, Swin­don (Hong Kong), Angus & Robertson’s, Bor­ders (Aus­tralia), Whit­coull’s (New Zea­l­and), and WH­S­mith (UK).

Mo­bile Op­er­ator and Tab­let OEMs

In 2011, cus­tom­ers will ex­pect eRead­ing to be avail­able on their devices out-of-the-box. With a cata­log of more than 2.2 mil­lion eBooks, magazines, news­pa­pers and an open plat­form, Kobo en­ables tab­let OEMs and mo­bile op­er­at­ors to eas­ily bring eRead­ing to their cus­tom­ers. Kobo re­cently launched the Kobo An­droid app for the Sam­sung Galaxy Tab, which of­fers a “Read­ers Hub” powered by Kobo – in ad­di­tion to read­ing eBooks with the app, which was de­signed es­pe­cially for the Galaxy Tab, users also have ac­cess to the en­tire Kobo book store.

Kobo an­nounced today that its ap­plic­a­tion is being demon­strated at the 2011 Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show on Frees­cale’s new Smart Ap­plic­a­tion Blue­print for Rapid En­gin­eer­ing (SABRE) for Tab­lets based on i.​MX53 run­ning An­droid. By in­clud­ing the Kobo eRead­ing App, OEMs have a simple path to meet­ing cus­tomer ex­pect­a­tions for a com­pel­ling tab­let read­ing ex­per­i­ence.

“We are ex­cited with the new part­ner­ships that we have in our pipeline for 2011, and the op­por­tun­it­ies these present to bring eRead­ing with Kobo to mil­lions of part­ner cus­tom­ers around the world,” said Kobo CEO, Mi­chael Serbinis. “We’ve ad­ap­ted the fea­tures that our cus­tom­ers love and ex­pect from Kobo to en­sure that we provide the best eRead­ing ex­per­i­ence to part­ners for their cus­tom­ers. One of Kobo’s core strategies for this year will be to sup­port many new and emer­ging devices such as tab­lets, net­books and eRead­ers, and more – so that we con­tinue to main­tain the Kobo prom­ise of bring­ing eRead­ing to every­one.”

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, magazines, news­pa­pers 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.​kobo.​com.