Kobo has launched its global ereader application for iPad in all markets where the Apple iPad is currently available. In addition Kobo has released regional versions offering local content and merchandise in Canada, Australia and UK.
The Kobo application for iPad comes pre-loaded with 5 free ebooks and allows connection to the Kobo ebook store, which offers more than 2 million titles, both for free and for purchase.
Users will be able to create a custom bookshelf by adding different background wallpapers and bookmarks, optimize the font and font size and adjust brightness and color.
Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo commented, “We’re excited for iPad owners around the world to experience Kobo on this amazing device…People don’t want their content locked on one specific device, so we’ll give them the ability to read what they want, on the device that they want.”
Kobo’s open approach enables consumers to read their content on any device anytime, anyplace including downloading purchases and reading on Third Party devices. Kobo’s belief is that customers shoud have freedom of choice and be allowed to build ebook libraries independent of any device or service.
The Kobo e-Ink ebook reader device (with 6″ inch display, 1 GB internal memory, 4-way D-pad navigation) will be launched in the US on 17 June 2010 after having a successful debut in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Its pricing at $149 USD significantly undercuts the pricing of rival dedicated reading devices, Kindle, Sony Touch Edition and the Nook, thereby appealing to the budget market.
The relatively low pricing and open ePUB and PDF formats could be the double edged sword in the Kobo armoury that give it the potential to be a winning product with the masses in the dedicated ebook reader market. Let’s just wait and see.
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