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

LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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.