Borders will market the Kobo Wireless eReader, competing with Amazon.com's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook.
Borders will sell the new Kobo Wireless eReader, in a further attempt to
carve market share away from Amazon.com's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook.
The e-reader market has expanded rapidly over the last year, resulting in a
combination of falling device prices and new hardware additions-and putting
pressure on all competitors to match each other's latest moves.
The Kobo e-reader reportedly features faster performance, longer
battery life and a sharper-contrast e-ink screen. Available Nov. 1, it will retail for $139.99,
the same price point as the WiFi-only version of the Kindle, with shipments
scheduled for October. In addition, the Kobo store now apparently includes 2.2
first announced it would sell the Kobo
through its stores June 17,
initially pricing the e-reader at $150. The Kobo includes 1GB of memory, comes
preloaded with 100 free e-books, and can display documents in ePub, PDF and
Adobe DRM formats.
Borders and Kobo find themselves targeting
an e-reader market already kicking into high gear
ahead of the holiday
shopping season. Amazon.com recently issued a 30-second
television spot contrasting its new Kindle with the Apple iPad,
is considered a major competitor in the market. In the ad, a man struggles to
read his tablet PC's screen in the blinding sunlight, while the woman beside
him merrily scans the text on her next-generation Kindle. When asked how she
can read "in this light," the woman responds: "It's a Kindle, $139.
I actually paid more for these sunglasses."
The next-generation version of the Kindle with 3G actually costs $189, with feature
tweaks that include a higher-contrast e-ink screen, longer battery life,
Wikipedia access, support for password-protected PDFs and a more lightweight
According to analytics company In-Stat, e-reader shipments will grow from
around 12 million units in 2010 to 35 million in 2014.
"Tablet PC shipments are taking off, fueled in particular by the Apple
iPad introduction. Yet there will still be a revenue opportunity for e-reader
suppliers and OEMs since tablet PCs and e-readers target different
consumers," Stephanie Ethier, an analyst with In-Stat, wrote in a Sept. 14
research note. "Stand-alone e-readers will address the needs of avid
readers, to whom the reading experience is central. Tablets are better suited
for consumers who prefer a stronger multimedia experience, and only light
In-Stat predicted that e-readers will decline in price throughout the rest
of 2010, with more devices dipping below $100.