Kobo eReader

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Kobo
Kobo logo.svg
Kobo Aura.jpg
Kobo Aura, Kobo's current flagship e-book reader
Manufacturer Kobo Inc.
Release date Kobo eReader Wireless
10 May 2010
Kobo eReader Touch:
23 May 2011
Kobo Glo:
6 September 2012
Kobo Mini:
6 September 2012
Kobo Aura HD:
17 April 2013
Kobo Aura:
27 August 2013
Introductory price Kobo eReader Wireless
$199
Kobo eReader Touch:
$129
Kobo Glo:
$129
Kobo Mini:
$79
Kobo Aura HD:
$169
Kobo Aura:
$149
Operating system Kobo Firmware
Power Internal li-ion rechargeable battery
CPU Kobo eReader Touch:
800MHz Freescale i.MX507
Kobo Glo:
1GHz
Kobo Mini:
800MHZ Freescale i.MX507
Kobo Aura HD:
1GHz Freescale i.MX507
Kobo Aura:
1GHz
Storage Kobo eReader Wireless
1 GB of memory (or around 1 000 books) plus up to 32 GB SD card
Kobo eReader Touch, Kobo Glo, Kobo Aura:
2 GB of memory (1 500 books) plus up to 32 GB microSD card
Kobo Mini:
2 GB of memory (1 500 books)
Kobo Aura HD:
4 GB of memory (3 000 books) plus up to 32 GB microSD card
Display Kobo eReader Wireless, Kobo eReader Touch, Kobo Glo, Kobo Aura:
6" E-ink
Kobo Mini:
5" E-ink
Kobo Aura HD:
6.8" E-ink
Input Kobo eReader Wireless:
Four directional d-pad
Kobo eReader Touch, Kobo Glo, Kobo Mini, Kobo Aura HD, Kobo Aura:
Touchscreen
Connectivity USB
Bluetooth (original)
Wi-Fi (new models)
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)
Kobo Glo:
114 x 157 x 10 mm
(4.5 x 6.2 x 0.4 in)
Kobo Mini:
102 x 133 x 10 mm
(4 x 5.2 x 0.4 in)
Kobo Aura HD:
175.7 x 128.3 x 11.7 mm
(6.91 x 5.05 x 0.46 in)
Kobo Aura:
150 x 114 x 8.1 mm
(5.9 x 5.6 x 0.3 in)
Weight Kobo eReader Wireless
221 g (7.80 oz)
Kobo eReader Touch
200 g (7.05 oz)
Kobo Glo:
185 g (6.5 oz)
Kobo Mini:
134 g (4.73 oz)
Kobo Aura HD:
240 g (8.5 oz)
Kobo Aura:
174 g (6.1 oz)
Website www.kobo.com

The Kobo eReader is an e-reader produced by Toronto-based Kobo Inc. The company's name is an anagram of "book". The original version was released in May 2010 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.[2] Like most e-book readers, the Kobo uses an electronic ink screen.[1] The LCD tablet versions have been released between 2011 to 2013.[3]

E-ink devices[edit]

Current[edit]

Common Attributes[edit]

All Kobo e-Readers share a unique pagination system. Unlike normal books, Kobo e-Readers count and reference pages separately within each chapter rather than throughout the book. One cannot "go to page 263" of the current book on a Kobo e-Reader. Each chapter restarts page numbering with page 1 and numbers consecutively through to the end of that chapter.

Kobo Touch[edit]

Main article: Kobo Touch

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]

Main article: Kobo Glo

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 Aura[edit]

Main article: Kobo Aura

A device with a 6-inch e-ink ClarityScreen display with 1024×758 resolution, 16 level grey scale and a built-in LED front-light. It has 4 GB of storage, weighs 173g (6.1 oz), has 2 months of battery life, a Freescale i.MX507 1 GHz processor, and a microSD expansion slot.[8][9] It was released in September 2013.[3]

Kobo Aura HD[edit]

Main article: Kobo Aura HD

A limited-edition device with a 6.8-inch e-ink display, with a high resolution of 1440×1080 with 265 ppi.[10] 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 H2O[edit]

Main article: Kobo Aura H2O

The Aura H2O is the first waterproof e-reader and has an upgraded version of the Aura HD's 6.8-inch e-ink Carta display with a resolution of 1440×1080 with 265 ppi.[11] It contains the same processor, onboard storage, and software as the Aura HD, with dust/waterproofing, certified to be immersed for up to 30 minutes in up to 1 meter of water with port cover closed.[12] It was released on October 1, 2014, weighs 8.22 oz and has a microSD expansion slot.

Discontinued[edit]

Kobo eReader[edit]

Kobo Inc. announced its first eReader on 24 March 2010 at the CTIA show.[13] It was officially released on 1 May 2010.[14] 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.,[15] a Taiwan based company with factories in Taiwan and China.[16]

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.[17] Its pricing strategy in Australia was similarly aggressive where it was available for A$199, again A$100 less than the Kindle.[18] Borders Australia said that they hoped to sell high volumes of the Kobo to drive up sales at their e-content store.[18]

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.[17]

In December 2010, the original Kobo's feature set was updated with a firmware update to more closely match the Wifi model.[19]

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.[20] Other improvements included a longer battery life and a built-in dictionary.[21]

As with the original model, the Wi-Fi model came pre-loaded with 100 public domain books.[20]

Kobo Mini[edit]

Main article: Kobo Mini

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

Tablet devices[edit]

Kobo booth

Current[edit]

Kobo Arc[edit]

Main article: Kobo Arc

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.[22]

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[23]
Sellers Percent
Kobo
  
20.0%
Amazon
  
55.0%
Barnes & Noble
  
10.0%
Sony
  
6.0%

Canada[edit]

The Kobo e-reading platform was the best-selling in Canada as of January 2012, with research firm Ipsos-Reid estimating that Kobo e-readers represented 46% of the Canadian market.[24]

Market share of e-readers in Canada by Ipsos Reid at January 2012[24]
Sellers Percent
Kobo
  
46.0%
Amazon
  
24.0%
Sony
  
18.0%
Others
  
12.0%

France[edit]

As of spring 2012, Kobo had 50% of the market share in France.[25]

Other countries[edit]

In August 2013, Kobo was the second largest ebook retailer in Japan, and Forbes estimated it at 3% of the market share in the United States.[22]

Selected subsidiaries[edit]

In October 2012 Kobo Inc. acquired the digital publishing platform Aquafadas to increase the content available on its e-reader devices.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Nowak, Peter (24 March 2010), "Indigo targets Amazon with Kobo e-reader", News (CA: CBC) .
  2. ^ "Rakuten Completes Acquisition of Kobo". CA: TechFinance. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Haselton, Todd (2013-09-28). "Kobo Arc 7, Arc 10HD and Aura Hands-On". TechnoBuffalo. TechnoBuffalo LLC. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  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. ^ "Tech specs". Aura. Kobo. 
  9. ^ "Kobo’s new tablets compete with Google’s Nexuses on price, specs". Ars Technica. Aug 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Kobo crams 1.5 million pixels into its 6.8" Aura HD e-reader". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  11. ^ "Kobo crams 1.5 million pixels into its 6.8" Aura H2O e-reader". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  12. ^ "Kobo Aura H2O Technical Specs". Kobo. Retrieved 2014-10-01. 
  13. ^ Hamblen, Matt (25 March 2010), "Kobo announces $149 e-reader to be sold by Borders", Computerworld .
  14. ^ "Homegrown Kobo hits the shelves", The Globe and Mail (review), 29 April 2010 .
  15. ^ "Kobo model N416", OET Exhibits List, FCC .
  16. ^ About (company information), Netronix .
  17. ^ a b "Kobo eReader Review" (video review). C net. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  18. ^ a b Bhatt, Neerav (13 May 2010). "Borders to sell Kobo e-Book reader for A$ 199". AU: iTnews. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ a b "Features". Ereader. Kobo. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  21. ^ Pilato, Fabrizio (29 September 2010). "Kobo WiFi edition is cheaper, faster and sharper". Mobile Magazine. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  22. ^ a b "Taking Another Look At Ebook Upstart Kobo". Forbes. 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  23. ^ "Digitimes Research: 4.57 million e-book readers to be shipped globally in 4Q12". DigiTimes. 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2013-07-07. (subscription required)
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ Reid, Calvin (2012-04-20). "With More Funding, Kobo Steps Up". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  26. ^ "Kobo acquires Aquafadas". Aquafadas Blog. 10 October 2012. 

External links[edit]