Kobo eReader

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Kobo
Kobo logo.svg
Manufacturer Kobo Inc.
Release date May 2010
Introductory price C$ 149[1]
A$ 199[2]
Power internal rechargeable battery
Storage 1 GB of memory (or around 1,000 books) plus up to 32 GB SD card
Display 6" eInk
Connectivity USB
Bluetooth (original)
Wi-Fi (new model)
Dimensions Kobo eReader Wireless
184 × 120 × 10 mm (7.2 × 4.7 × 0.4 in)
Kobo eReader Touch
165 × 114 × 10 mm (6.5 × 4.5 × 0.4 in)
Weight Kobo eReader Wireless
221 g (7.80 oz)
Kobo eReader Touch
200 g (7.05 oz)
Website www.kobo.com

The Kobo eReader is an e-book reader produced by Toronto-based Kobo Inc. The company's name is an anagram of "book". The original version was released in May 2010 (July in the US) and was marketed as a minimalist alternative to the more expensive e-book readers available at the time. As of March 2010, Indigo Books & Music owned 58% of Kobo Inc.;[1] the Japanese conglomerate Rakuten bought control of Kobo in January 2012.[3] Like most e-book readers, the Kobo uses an electronic ink screen.[1] The LCD tablet versions were released in 2011 and 2012.

Devices[edit]

A Kobo Booth

E-ink[edit]

Current[edit]

Kobo Touch[edit]

The Kobo Touch is the current baseline model, released in June 2011.[4] It introduced an infrared touch-screen interface. Other improvements compared to the Kobo Wi-Fi included an E Ink Pearl screen, a faster processor capable of smooth PDF panning, 802.11n Wi-Fi capability, and reduced size and weight.[5]

Kobo Glo[edit]

The Kobo Glo is an ebook reader produced by Kobo Inc. It is a front-lit, touch-based E Ink reader.[6] The Kobo Glo supports most ebook standards, including ePub. It has a 6-inch capacitive touchscreen, 1024×768 resolution, 213 ppi, 6.53 oz, 2 GB of storage, and supports microSD.[7] It was released on September 6, 2012.

Kobo Mini[edit]

The Kobo Mini is advertised as smaller and lighter than standard eBook readers. It was released on September 6, 2012.

Kobo Aura HD[edit]

A limited-edition device with a 6.8-inch e-ink display, with a high resolution of 1440×1080 with 265 ppi.[8] It is 8.47 oz and a microSD expansion slot. Other improvements compared to the Kobo Touch include a built-in "ComfortLight" light, a faster processor (1 GHz), twice the onboard storage (4  GB) and a claimed twice the battery life (estimated at 2 months). It supports ePub, Adobe PDF, plain text, HTML, and unprotected Mobipocket (mobi, prc). It was released on April 25, 2013.

Kobo Aura[edit]

A device with a 6-inch e-ink ClarityScreen display with 1014×758 resolution, 16 level grey scale and a built-in LED front-light. It has 4 GB of storage, weighs 6.1 ounces, has 2 months of battery life, a Freescale i.MX507 1 GHz processor, and a microSD expansion slot.[9][10] It was released in September 2013.

Discontinued[edit]

Kobo eReader[edit]

Kobo Inc. announced its first eReader on 24 March 2010 at the CTIA show.[11] It was officially released on 1 May 2010.[12] It had expandable memory, holding an additional 4 GB via an SD slot and limited wireless connectivity via Bluetooth to select Blackberry wireless devices. It was available in black or white and came preloaded with 100 public domain books.[1] It was manufactured by Netronix Inc.,[13] a Taiwan based company with factories in Taiwan and China.[14]

The pricing strategy of the original Kobo, at USD$ 149, was to rival the Amazon Kindle, which was USD$ 110 more expensive.[1] However, in June 2010, just after the Kobo was released, Amazon dropped the price of the Kindle to USD$189.[15] Its pricing strategy in Australia was similarly aggressive where it was available for A$ 199, again A$ 100 less than the Kindle.[2] Borders Australia said that they hoped to sell high volumes of the Kobo to drive up sales at their e-content store.[2]

The original Kobo received a mediocre review from CNET, which said that, while the Kobo was compact, lightweight and affordable, the lack of Wi-Fi or 3G made it outdated, especially when there were similarly priced eReaders available with those features.[15]

In December 2010, the original Kobo's feature set was updated with a firmware update to more closely match the Wifi model.[16]

6 February 2014 E-reader (Sony) emailed its customers to advise that they are transferring to Kobo. The Reader Store is closing on the 20th February 2014. Sony e-reader account holders will receive an email with a link to enable them to transfer their library to Kobo which will enable them to continue downloading ebooks to this library through Kobo.

Kobo Wi-Fi[edit]

A new model with Wi-Fi capability was launched 15 October 2010. It included an improved processor, screen, and new colour choices (porcelain/metallic silver, porcelain/pearlized lilac, and onyx). The SD expansion had been improved to claim a capacity for up to 10,000 books with a 32GB SD card.[17] Other improvements included a longer battery life and a built-in dictionary.[18]

As with the original model, the Wi-Fi model came pre-loaded with 100 public domain books.[17] The Kobo reader app for the BlackBerry PlayBook debuted at the same time.

LCD[edit]

Current[edit]

Kobo Arc[edit]

The Kobo Arc is a 7" color tablet announced 6 September 2012. Originally shipped with Android 4.0, "Ice Cream Sandwich" it was updated to Android 4.1.1 in March 2013.

In August 2013, Kobo announced it would release a high-definition 10-inch tablet (Arc 10 HD), a high-definition seven-inch tablet (Arc 7 HD), and a low-priced seven-inch tablet, the Arc 7 for $149. These tablets are the first device to feature "Reading Mode" on the tablets, which turns off outside notifications, adjusts the back-lighting and turns off non-reading-essential processor functions to save power.[19]

Discontinued[edit]

Kobo Vox[edit]

The Kobo Vox is a 7" tablet running Android 2.3, "Gingerbread". It was announced 19 October 2011.

Market share[edit]

Global[edit]

Global e-book Readers Shipment in 4Q12[20]
Sellers Percent
Kobo
  
20.0%
Amazon
  
55.0%
Barnes & Noble
  
10.0%
Sony
  
6.0%

Canada[edit]

The Kobo e-reading platform is now the best-selling in Canada, with research firm Ipsos Reid estimating that Kobo e-readers represented 46% of the Canadian market as of January 2012.[21]

Market share of e-readers in Canada by Ipsos Reid at January 2012[21]
Sellers Percent
Kobo
  
46.0%
Amazon
  
24.0%
Sony
  
18.0%
Others
  
12.0%

France[edit]

As of spring 2012, Kobo has 50% of the market share in France.[22]

Other Countries[edit]

As of August 2013, Forbes.com says that Kobo is the No. 2 ebook retailer in Japan and estimates Kobo has 3% of the market share in the United States.[19]

Selected subsidiaries[edit]

Kobo, the Rakuten -owned e-reading company, has announced that it is to acquire the digital publishing platform Aquafadas to bolster the breadth of content available on its e-reader devices,


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Nowak, Peter (24 March 2010), "Indigo targets Amazon with Kobo e-reader", News (CA: CBC) .
  2. ^ a b c Bhatt, Neerav (13 May 2010). "Borders to sell Kobo e-Book reader for A$ 199". AU: iTnews. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Rakuten Completes Acquisiton of Kobo". CA: TechFinance. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Ridden, Paul (25 May 2011). "Kobo launches new e-Reader Touch edition". Gizmag. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "eReader Touch Specs". Books. Kobo. Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Welcome the New Kobo Family of Devices – An eReader for Everyone!". Toronto: Kobo. 6 September 2012. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Specs", Kobo Glo, Gdgt .
  8. ^ "Kobo crams 1.5 million pixels into its 6.8" Aura HD e-reader". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  9. ^ "Tech specs". Aura. Kobo. 
  10. ^ "Kobo’s new tablets compete with Google’s Nexuses on price, specs". Ars Technica. Aug 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Hamblen, Matt (25 March 2010), "Kobo announces $149 e-reader to be sold by Borders", Computerworld .
  12. ^ "Homegrown Kobo hits the shelves", The Globe and Mail (review), 29 April 2010 .
  13. ^ "Kobo model N416", OET Exhibits List, FCC .
  14. ^ About (company information), Netronix .
  15. ^ a b "Kobo eReader Review" (video review). C net. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  16. ^ Geier, K. "Customers with the original Kobo eReader we are happy to announce that Newspapers and Magazines Now Available!". Blog. Kobo. Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  17. ^ a b "Features". Ereader. Kobo. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  18. ^ Pilato, Fabrizio (29 September 2010). "Kobo WiFi edition is cheaper, faster and sharper". Mobile Magazine. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  19. ^ a b "Taking Another Look At Ebook Upstart Kobo". Forbes. 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  20. ^ "Digitimes Research: 4.57 million e-book readers to be shipped globally in 4Q12". DigiTimes. 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  21. ^ a b Barbour, Mary Beth (2012-04-19). "Latest Wave of Ipsos Study Reveals Mobile Device Brands Canadian Consumers are Considering in 2012". Ipsos Reid. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  22. ^ Reid, Calvin (2012-04-20). "With More Funding, Kobo Steps Up". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 

External links[edit]