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Kobo eReader (Indigo Books & Music)


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Indigo Books and Music (IDG) makes up a pretty good chunk of my portfolio and I follow their ereading intiative (Kobo) quite closely.  Since many members here do a lot of reading -- I thought some of you might be interested in the Kobo e-ink device that is due to ship here in Canada in the next week or two (later in the summer in the States).   About the only downfall with the Kobo eReader is it does not have 3G or Wifi - but makes up for it in price ($149 cndn).  Canadians are finally going to have access to economical digital reading  -- the very open Kobo reading app continues gaining momentum as does the excitement associated with the device's launch.  (I don't think we will see the disappointing delays that most others have experienced)

 

Below are a couple reviews (the second one being a decent video review):

http://technology.automated.it/2010/04/21/hands-on-with-the-149-kobo-ereader/

http://www.sync-blog.com/sync/2010/04/video-first-look-at-the-kobo-ereader.html

 

There is also the opportunity to win a Kobo eReader by acting quickly and purchasing an ebook now on your PC, Smartphone, etc (I don't think this is presently offered to those south of the border though).

http://www.kobobooks.com/contest

 

Note that each ebook purchase = a contest entry.  This contest is kind of timely too as I noticed that Kobo finally has the latest version of 'The Intelligent Investor' available at a decent price of $10.99 cndn ($11.99 U.S. on the more closed Kindle format).  I already have 3 of these eReaders on preorder but am going enter to win another by adding the investment bible to my cloud based digital library.

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Intelligent-Investor-The-Revised-Edition/book-raIyyTajEE-TBpLlVkPI3g/page1.html

 

 

 

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Indigo Books and Music (IDG) makes up a pretty good chunk of my portfolio and I follow their ereading intiative (Kobo) quite closely.  Since many members here do a lot of reading -- I thought some of you might be interested in the Kobo e-ink device that is due to ship here in Canada in the next week or two (later in the summer in the States).   About the only downfall with the Kobo eReader is it does not have 3G or Wifi - but makes up for it in price ($149 cndn).  Canadians are finally going to have access to economical digital reading  -- the very open Kobo reading app continues gaining momentum as does the excitement associated with the device's launch.  (I don't think we will see the disappointing delays that most others have experienced)

 

Below are a couple reviews (the second one being a decent video review):

http://technology.automated.it/2010/04/21/hands-on-with-the-149-kobo-ereader/

http://www.sync-blog.com/sync/2010/04/video-first-look-at-the-kobo-ereader.html

 

There is also the opportunity to win a Kobo eReader by acting quickly and purchasing an ebook now on your PC, Smartphone, etc (I don't think this is presently offered to those south of the border though).

http://www.kobobooks.com/contest

 

Note that each ebook purchase = a contest entry.  This contest is kind of timely too as I noticed that Kobo finally has the latest version of 'The Intelligent Investor' available at a decent price of $10.99 cndn ($11.99 U.S. on the more closed Kindle format).  I already have 3 of these eReaders on preorder but am going enter to win another by adding the investment bible to my cloud based digital library.

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Intelligent-Investor-The-Revised-Edition/book-raIyyTajEE-TBpLlVkPI3g/page1.html

 

 

 

 

UP, thank you for the tip! I love those E readers and 149 is quite irresistible to me.  I am a bit tired of my iPod as I do have trouble finding good free books on the internet. Maybe this is the way to go.

 

I am still happy with my RNK holdings(down 65% ATM). I read about the AR but could not pull the trigger to acquire more shares. It seems RNK's business strategy is not very clear and management overestimated their abilities to handle multiple initiatives. Any thoughts? I guess you probably the most knowledgeable person about the company on thie board!

 

Have a nice day,

 

Fan

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Wouldn't say I am the most knowlegeable (regarding RNK) -- there are a couple others here on the board that follow it quite well too.  Not sure why you would think they overestimated their abilities to handle multiple initiatives - the opposite is actually the case.  Since Franklin came on board (as CEO) and Tim (as Chairman) the company has transitioned itself into a focussed pure animation studio (the FX division, payroll and tax credit divisions are gone - other than a 30% interest in the later).  Where things went off the rails the past year was the financial panic -- work dried up -- financing to forward IP projects dried up.  And the sale of the FX division was very untimely (with earnouts in jeapordy?).  But Q4 showed a hint of things turning around --- the animation business was slightly EBITDA positive in that quarter.  You might be interested in reading this article that was in the Globe and Mail the other day:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/pixar-studio-opens-in-vancouver/article1540515/

 

If the Vancouver animation industry is going into a major growth spurt as that article suggests (by the way this is not the first such article or indication of this) --- then just what is the largest animation studio in town worth?    RNK's combined studios are about 64,000 square feet.  Pixar (Vancouver) is currently 7,000 -- expanding to 25,000.  RNK is still the largest though -- and not only that they have a very good reputation with a very dynamic management team put in place.  With many of these companies moving to Vancouver -- one has to wonder if RNK might be an attractive takeover candidate.  Much of the management team assembled at RNK have roots to Lucas --- perhaps they would be interested?  Or maybe Mattel would be interested --- Robert Eckert is doing a fine job in transitioning Mattel into an Entertainment company.  RNK brings value to Mattel in a similar manner that Pixar brought to Disney. 

 

64,000 sq feet is a far cry from Pixars 200,000+ sq ft studio in California (with growth plans to 500,000 sq feet).  But is it only worth $6 million?  When they still have $4.9 million Deluxe credits remaining, a 30% stake in Base 10 (EP+CFC) and associated earnouts that came with the sale.  The IP property has been kept closely under wraps and mostly expensed --- but there could also be some value here too.  Seems to me that at the current price one is getting paid to own the animation studio which to me seems like the real prize.  Yes I still have faith in this story.  It seems that things are turning around and the cash burn is over. 

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Indigo Books and Music (IDG) makes up a pretty good chunk of my portfolio and I follow their ereading intiative (Kobo) quite closely.  Since many members here do a lot of reading -- I thought some of you might be interested in the Kobo e-ink device that is due to ship here in Canada in the next week or two (later in the summer in the States).   About the only downfall with the Kobo eReader is it does not have 3G or Wifi - but makes up for it in price ($149 cndn).  Canadians are finally going to have access to economical digital reading  -- the very open Kobo reading app continues gaining momentum as does the excitement associated with the device's launch.  (I don't think we will see the disappointing delays that most others have experienced)

 

Below are a couple reviews (the second one being a decent video review):

http://technology.automated.it/2010/04/21/hands-on-with-the-149-kobo-ereader/

 

This looks like a nice device for reading novels. One drawback is that it does not have a keyboard so you can't search a document for specific words (for instance if you are scanning through SEC filings on the way to work).  I do this a lot when I read industry publications on the computer.  But I do think Kobo looks like a great device for the average user.

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This looks like a nice device for reading novels. One drawback is that it does not have a keyboard so you can't search a document for specific words (for instance if you are scanning through SEC filings on the way to work).  I do this a lot when I read industry publications on the computer.  But I do think Kobo looks like a great device for the average user.

 

I agree.  Of the three I have on order, one is for my wife and the others for two of her sisters -- all three will be using it primarily for reading fiction.  One of them hopes to use it for reading newspapers eventaully too - but I don't know how practical it might be for that either.  Personally though at the moment for myself - I am holding off for something that is more multi-use to do things as you mention plus read newspapers.  But as Canadians, this is a long waited development and should be of interest to non-fiction readers also (by the way it comes prepackaged with 100 free classics!!).

 

There is going to be an explosion of dedicated and multiuse devices hitting the market in the next year.  This Kobo device is more of a showcase for the company in launching their 'Powered by Kobo' initiative.  The strategy is to provide value to various device manufacturers and have the app preloaded in many of the viable open devices coming out (similar to what Intel did long ago with processor chips).  Despite having their own device now - the Kobo app is still a very open platform (and are going global with it in 200 countries).   If you decide to switch devices sometime in the future - your library moves with you.  Try taking your Kindle library with you if you decided to buy an Alex.  Alex is a device being introduced by Spring Design who is a start up company formed by the former founders of SanDisk.  Alex was the first announced 'Powered by Kobo' partner (as announced at the January CES show in Vegas).

 

The Alex might suit the sort of tasks you mentioned but much more pricey ($399).   I believe the Alex is already available in the States and is supposedly coming here to Canada.  It is a neat looking unit - although I don't know how good it would be for reading newspapers either (it has the same 6" e-ink screen). These devices will get cheaper as time goes on and will take on various shapes and sizes to suit all kinds of tasks.  Kobo has apparently been looking into subscription contracts similar to cell phones -- whereby you subscribe to a newspaper or agree to purchase a certain amount of books over X years and get the device for a big discount or even free.

 

Here are a couple reviews on the Alex -- there are many more out there.  By the way the Alex has been developed by a group called Spring Design - one of the co-founders of Spring Design was a co-founder of SanDisk (Jack Yuan -- I believe that is him displaying the unit in the second review):

http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/22/spring-design-alex-review/

http://www.slashgear.com/spring-design-alex-ships-today-1481559/

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I wonder if consumers will continue to accept the $9.99 price point on ebooks now that the booksellers will have much lower distribution costs, no stocking costs etc.

 

One risk to the bookseller is that authors start to sell books in electronic form directly to consumer. This is unlikely to happen for the bestselling titles, but I can see independent authors and romance novelists making quick inroads in this fashion. This is what a lot of smaller musicians are doing now via websites like bandcamp

one example: http://samamidon.bandcamp.com/    Artists are free to set their own price and I think they currently get to keep all the proceeds.

 

Obviously there are a lot of coffee table type books that will be bought in paper form for the foreseeable future.

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I wonder if consumers will continue to accept the $9.99 price point on ebooks now that the booksellers will have much lower distribution costs, no stocking costs etc.

 

One risk to the bookseller is that authors start to sell books in electronic form directly to consumer. This is unlikely to happen for the bestselling titles, but I can see independent authors and romance novelists making quick inroads in this fashion. This is what a lot of smaller musicians are doing now via websites like bandcamp

one example: http://samamidon.bandcamp.com/     Artists are free to set their own price and I think they currently get to keep all the proceeds.

 

Obviously there are a lot of coffee table type books that will be bought in paper form for the foreseeable future.

 

You have to keep in mind the closed platform that Apple created when it monopolized the music industry.  A revolt as such was bound to occur at sometime or another.  Apple dictated to the music industry -- rather than work issues out with them (Amazon has done the same with publsihers).  There was no viable open platform alternate such as Kobo when Apple did what they did ... in fact the music industry was being pillaged by pirates - making it easier for Apple to stake their claim.  Here is another partnership announcement today between Kobo and Author Solutions:

http://www.seopressreleases.com/author-solutions-announces-distribution-pact-kobo-ereading-service/8126

 

It is quite an opposite situation than you have in the music industry.  Self publishers are embracing Kobo and their fair and open philosophy.  Author Solutions has helped 85,000 artists self publish 120,000 titles.  And they are now in partnership with Kobo.  Like I say there was no Kobo at the time the music industry was making it's first platform change in a decade or two.  But now a system does exist and a company with excellent relations with publishers is working with the industry as a whole in establishing the first major alternative in traditional reading.  Thus far they have concentrated efforts on the bound book of course invented many centuries ago.... but are also moving on to newspapers and magazines too.

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I agree with the points you've made.

 

My thinking is that Indigo will break even selling the Kobo, but they will make their money selling the books. 

 

If there is an open platform it suggests that I may easily get books from non-indigo sources and put it on the device. I agree this is great for consumers, and could be a win for Indigo if it establishes Kobo platform as a winner in the marketplace and in the application development community.  But I still think there is risk that people will just start pirating ebooks or buying them from sources other than Indigo and loading them on the Kobo.  (people have been pirating ebooks for quite a while already just as PDFs)

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My thinking is that Indigo will break even selling the Kobo, but they will make their money selling the books. 

Yes - the device is the launching pad - they might even LOSE money selling it.  Content will be the key.  Interesting timing though as here is some comments from Michael Serbinis (Kobo CEO) on BNN this evening:

http://video.ca.msn.com/watch/video/google-of-ereaders-04-23-10-5-30-pm/jvlz5kgn

 

If there is an open platform it suggests that I may easily get books from non-indigo sources and put it on the device. I agree this is great for consumers, and could be a win for Indigo if it establishes Kobo platform as a winner in the marketplace and in the application development community.

 

This is totally correct.  Think of it in terms of having an IKEA book shelf at home.  When you pick a book up at the gas station versus a big box retailer you can still store your purchased book on your IKEA bookshelf.  Then all of a sudden you get tired of the IKEA book shelf and want to replace it with the one you see at Costco.  Quite amazing but all the books you have bought under this open system can be placed on the Costco bookshelf.  Totally open and fair -- that is the way this is being approached.

 

But I still think there is risk that people will just start pirating ebooks or buying them from sources other than Indigo and loading them on the Kobo.  (people have been pirating ebooks for quite a while already just as PDFs)

 

Remains to be seen - but I think piracy will probably be a lesser problem in the publishing industry than music.  The publishing industry has the music experience to draw from - not only that but the whole industry is far more dynamic.  Also something to consider is that the more people read - crime drops accordingly (see the Indigo Love of Music Foundation charity and all the good things they do) - I am not sure you can make the same correlation with music listening.

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One risk to the bookseller is that authors start to sell books in electronic form directly to consumer. This is unlikely to happen for the bestselling titles, but I can see independent authors and romance novelists making quick inroads in this fashion.

 

Cory Doctorow gives his books away for free in electronic form. 

 

http://craphound.com/?cat=5

 

They are all excellent, BTW.

 

 

Also I just updated my "Nook" to the latest software revision and it now included a nice web-browser that can be used when you are connected to WiFi (not with 3G, however).  Nice to read books available in html on the web or long web pages. Or to just look something up quick or check your email if it has a web interface like yahoo mail or gmail.

 

--Eric

 

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Once all is said and done there will be three e-reader companies left to battle it out with one another: Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iBooks, and Google's unannounced tablet device.

 

I was one of the first to purchase the Amazon Kindle. I'll be picking up my Apple iPad in the next 2-3 weeks. I will probably stick with Kindle books as I've already amassed 40 titles or so and plan on adding more. Amazon has the largest selection now (500,000 + books). And I can't wait to try out the Wall Street Journal and New York Times iPad editions.

 

Kobo's and the others don't stand a chance. And I'm also happy Amazon was given permission to open up a warehouse here in Canada. So long Indigo!

 

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You guys seriously think the Kobo will be able to compete against the Kindle and the iPad?

 

To answer that question you have to decide whether the evolution of digital reading content will be decided by one player as was the case with Apple; or, will this fate be figured out as more of a collaboritive effort amongst the publishing industry.  Thus far Amazon has attempted to copy the Apple method that worked (at least in the short term) with music.  However, the publishing industry has now turned to the agency model to give it time to work things through.  5 of the 6 major publishers have turned to the Agency model.  Random House has opted out - but their content is not available on Apple's Ibooks.  Neither Amazon or Apple are invovled in the discussions going on that will shape the direction of digital reading content.  Kobo is involved in these discussions and are beginning to play a key lead role from the distribution side of these meaningful talks.  Below are a couple presentations by Michael Tamblyn (VP Content, Sales and Merchandising, Kobo) :

http://www.blip.tv/file/2798840

http://www.teleread.org/2010/04/21/michael-tamblyn-of-kobo-talks-about-what-he-has-learned/

 

Keep in mind too that Kobo is a global player - in 200 countries in the world.  Amazon has struggled with the Kindle globally.  Something to note is Cheung Kong (Li Ka Shing) now has a stake in Kobo (through a company CK formed called 'Instant Fame').  The Asian market has tremendous potential for the first company that can be successful.  Not only do you have the growing middle class -- but you also have a market that is very underserved with a retail bricks and mortar presense.  Certainly there will be a challenge for Kobo to attain a lead position in the U.S.A. where the Kindle has a strong following at least by the early adopters.  But with digital reading about to go mainstream and people everywhere challenging closed platforms like Itunes one could be underestimating Kobo's ability in the U.S.  Certainly though they have their ducks in a row as this goes globally.  Here in Canada the Kobo rollout next week will quite likely propel Kobo into the #1 and most well known ereading offering.  Other than having 3G (which is quite expensive here) there is not much reason to opt for a Kindle - after all ebook content has now gone 'agency' (meaning Kindle and Kobo will have the same prices for most mainstream content).  And there will be other 3G device offerings - Apple and Kindle are not the only device makers.  If they can execute on this 'Powered by Kobo' initiative - absolutely they can compete with Kindle and Apple.

 

I should just point out that I established my position in IDG several years ago when everyone thought Indigo would not survive because of Amazon.  As such most of my position was bought between $4-$5.  Kobo would obviously be a more risky bet if you were just buying that entity.  But with IDG I figure at the moment you are getting Kobo free + about $4 bucks in the bank to boot.

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Amazon has the largest selection now (500,000 + books). And I can't wait to try out the Wall Street Journal and New York Times iPad editions.

Actually if you consider free books - KOBO exceeds Amazon with an offering of 2 million+.  And in the paid category they are rapidly catching up to Amazon -- particularly in the mainstream category.  And in fact there are some pretty significant mainstream titles you can get on Kobo that you cannot on Kindle:

http://www.kobobooks.com/lists/You_Cant_Get_These_On_Kindle/eIA7nsQuGkmMfXYcOi0K0w-1.html

 

Kobo's and the others don't stand a chance. And I'm also happy Amazon was given permission to open up a warehouse here in Canada. So long Indigo!

Amazon's warehouse announcement is pretty much limited to impacting Indigo's online service where they are break even at best anyway.  It's pretty much a non-event when it comes to their bricks and mortar side and digital initiative.  You may want to visit one of the new Indigo concept stores (Indigo Books, Gifts, Kids) - it is quickly becoming more than a book store.  Specialty toys and gifts are replacing any decline in book sales.  You might also want to visit their financials and check out the ROA's etc.  Heather Reisman has done a fine job in turning this into a world class retailer - the story might just be beginning though.

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I think it is unwise to cite Kobos 'free books' stats because those are usually public domain books where there is usually a good deal of double counting.

 

I agree with John - something like the Kobo stands little/no chance of gaining any meaningful market share when you have Apple and Amazon putting out their own products.

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To answer that question you have to decide whether the evolution of digital reading content will be decided by one player as was the case with Apple; or, will this fate be figured out as more of a collaboritive effort amongst the publishing industry.

 

The digital music industry was dominated by Apple because their iPod has 70% market share.  You have content providers captured, more or less. The same will probably happen with digital reading.  Amazon/Apple will probably hold 50-70% plus of the market and content providers will crumble.  I wouldn't be going long hardware that no one has ever heard of.  I don't even remember the last time no-name consumer hardware sold anything impressive.  Add digital media hardware, and history doesn't bode well for them.  I'm 27 years old and no one I know has any consumer electronics from no name providers.  Brands are extremely powerful for my age group.  There is no longer such thing as an mp3 player.  There are iPods and iPod knock offs.  Even when I had the Kindle 1st Generation, people called it that "Amazon reader" more than "Kindle."

 

Again, Kobo is NOT about the hardware.  This device is merely a showcase to strive forward with the ‘Powered by Kobo’ initiative .... to get noticed by various industry players and show their strength as a distribution partner.   And actually this is not being targeted that much at your age group – what Kobo has found is an amazing demand from the older crowd that want simplicity but also their eye sight is in decline.  The three I have on order are all for people 50+.  

 

If as you predict the big 6 publishers are going to crumble and Apple + Amazon rule the roost – I guess in the same breath one could assume that most of the other device makers will crumble.  Ironically many of the other device makers are embracing the future of mobile wireless through the Android platform.  Amazon and Apple at present are not.  What you are missing is the flood of devices that will be coming out in the future.  Not only dedicated but also multi-use gadgets that will take on shapes and sizes beyond our present imagination.  Something like Kobo did not exist when the MP3 player rolled out.  ‘Powered by Kobo’ is attempting to get inside the future HPs, Blackberrys, Nokias, Motorolas, Acers, Dells, Sonys, Toshibas, Fujitsus, Lenovos etc, etc, etc --- do you really think all these device makers will crumble too in your world of Apple, Amazon domination?   And there will be new players too – Kobo will be attempting to get inside many of the viable ones – some will make it and some wont.

 

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I think it is unwise to cite Kobos 'free books' stats because those are usually public domain books where there is usually a good deal of double counting.

OK lets ignore that Kobo was able sign on 1.8 million free books through the internet archive – and no one else has.  Lets ignore that just the other day they signed on Author Solutions (with 125,000 paid titles).  Ignore these altogether and the count is probably 300,000 Kobo versus 500,000 Kindle.  Kobo was at zero about a year ago – surely it should be obvious they are growing more rapidly in the paid category than Kindle.

 

I agree with John - something like the Kobo stands little/no chance of gaining any meaningful market share when you have Apple and Amazon putting out their own products.

I am assuming when you are speaking of Apple/Amazon products you are referring to their devices.  Kobo is not a device maker – how meaningful their market share becomes with their device means way less than how Kobo executes in becoming an engine where much of the global trade of digital reading content takes place.  If they execute and succeed – much of it will be outside their own device.  I think the opposite could be said as far as Apple, Amazon. 

 

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Digitimes is reporting that the Nook actually outsold the Kindle in March:

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20100426VL204.html

 

If this research report is even remotely accurate it kind of blows out the theory that a new brand cannot gain popularity. Someone mentioned that when Kindle first came out -- it was called 'that Amazon Reader'.  Well I would suspect when the Nook came out it was thought of as 'that B&N reader'.  So more than likely when the Kobo arrives next week it will be called' 'that Indigo reader'  --- and when introduced into the States later in the summer it will be called 'that Borders reader'.

 

The estimated worldwide shipments is pretty much in line with everything else I have been reading though.  Consider that by the end of 2010 the total # of dedicated ereaders sold in 2009 & 2010 alone will be about 15 million units.  All indications are that the average user of these dedicated readers buys 1-2 books a month.  Take the bottom of that range and you have a global $2 billion industry going into 2011.  And that's probably a conservative figure as it does not include anything sold on a multiuse device such as the IPad, smartphones, desk/laptops; or the ereaders sold in 2008 or earlier.  It also ignores any additional purchases of other digital reading content such as newspapers, magazines, etc.

 

 

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Also meant to point out this article about Kobo in Canadian Business magazine:

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/managing/strategy/article.jsp?content=20100301_10019_10019

 

Below are a few snips from that article:

>>> “While Amazon has an app in the [Apple] store, and you don’t necessarily have to buy their device, Kobo has been across the smartphone space from the beginning,” says Lisa Charters, senior vice-president and director of digital for Random House Canada. “And that unique offering is really important to us as publishers, because we want consumers to have all options to read e-books, and not necessarily have to purchase a $300 device.” <<<

 

>>>What’s more, says New York publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin, “they beat Google into the cloud.” Kobo’s library system is based in cloud computing.<<<

 

>>>What they’re seeking to build, in other words, is the conduit through which much of the world’s digital book trade will happen. Says Rob Chaplinksy, managing director of California-based venture capital firm Bridgescale Partners, “Kobo’s trying to be the Intel inside.”   <<<

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Once all is said and done there will be three e-reader companies left to battle it out with one another: Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iBooks, and Google's unannounced tablet device.

 

I was one of the first to purchase the Amazon Kindle. I'll be picking up my Apple iPad in the next 2-3 weeks. I will probably stick with Kindle books as I've already amassed 40 titles or so and plan on adding more. Amazon has the largest selection now (500,000 + books). And I can't wait to try out the Wall Street Journal and New York Times iPad editions.

 

Kobo's and the others don't stand a chance. And I'm also happy Amazon was given permission to open up a warehouse here in Canada. So long Indigo!

 

I think you're right - and you'll be happy to know that when you get your iPad you can just install the free Amazon kindle app, hit "sync" on your kindle and then "sync" on your ipad, and it'll pull down all your books.

 

Amazon made a very smart move by releasing an iphone, ipad app pretty quick. Even if they lose on the hardware front, they still have a shot at getting on everybody's ipads. They've correctly deduced that it's more about the channel than the hardware. Even if ipad kills the kindle, they can still penetrate the market.

 

I have both a kindle and an ipad, and as I said, they "sync" to each other. I read on one and when I open the book on the other it goes to where I left off. My notes and bookmarks are available on both devices. It's just brilliant.

 

There are a few minor complaints I've had about the kindle, but I think they made the right move in response to the ipad: Put out an  app on the enemy's platform.

 

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Kobo has an app on the IPad also.  And it syncs not only back to it’s own device.  It is in fact cloud based and will sync back to any device you own (with the exception of a Kindle).... or any device you want to trade up or down to in the future.  As this all evolves it will also work in a shared environment with pretty much all devices (again -- expect Kindle).

 

Something you seem to be missing is that laptops, netbooks, cell/smart phone manufacturers are all converging.  Apple will not dominate this like they did with the IPod.  There are just too many big players getting already involved or about to.  And open platforms are gaining popularity in a big way – of course Android in particular.  Apple will soon be competing against some other very large manufacturers --- these are not the small type of players they had to deal with when overtaking the MP3 player. These are some of them --- in many (if not all) cases these devices will be at lower price points than Apple: 

 

- HP just announced today that they are buying Palm.  Obviously HP is taking this seriously.

- Toshiba has announced they are coming out with their line of android based slates.  So has Dell with a line up of about 7 different sized devices – all android based.

- I saw a rumour out the other day that Cisco will be releasing a 7 inch android tablet for the business market.

- Motorolla’s Droid is making a resurgence of the company – they apparently recently showed a prototype of a 7” Android tablet. 

- Say what you want about RIM – but Blackberry is still a significant smart phone player.  Mike Lazaridis (CEO) has said a tablet will be coming out in Q3 of this year.  Also rumours that Blackberry may convert to Android open platform at some point.

- Acer is bringing one out --- Nokia is rumoured to be. 

- The Microsoft Courier is in development.

- Lenovo (IBM) apparently has something in the works.

- Add Sony Ericsson, LG, Samsung, Google and HTC to the list.

 

The bottom line is these are very large players.  Expect Kobo to be working on revenue/profit sharing relationships with many of them – making it potentially very lucrative for device manufacturers to introduce a device with instant recurring revenues going back to them (this opportunity did not exist when ITunes came along).  The IPad can perhaps generate revenue from IBooks – but don’t expect it to be like ITunes.  Far too many players getting into this – with more content players out there than with the advent of the MP3 player.  Kobo has made it their mission to make any purchased content downloadable to any device – at the moment they are the strongest (open and on every device) content distributor – and they are global.

 

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  • 3 years later...

I'm reviving an old topic, because I've been looking to replace my gen-1 nook. I'm interested in the Kobo Aura HD.  Anyone have one of these?  If so, how do you like it?  (Screen/software/web browser/etc).  I'm not really interested in the Kindle, because I've got hundreds of epub format books which the kindle can't read. The Aura HD has 256dpi with a 6.8" screen, 1GHz processor, and from the online reviews a better built-in light than the kindle.  I like the idea of the bigger screen with the built in light.

 

The other issue is that Kobo only has it available right now in brown.  I inquired about the other colors and received this in reply:

 

"Thank you for contacting Kobo, Tier 2 of Direct Orders.

 

Please be advised that I am afraid we currently have no stock available for the Kobo Aura HD in Onyx or Ivory and I have not been advised of when stock will be replenished.

 

Please every 2 to 3 days check on the Kobo Site to check on if those colors are made available.

 

I do apologize for this inconvenience."

 

I don't really like the look of the brown, either black or white would be okay.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm reviving an old topic, because I've been looking to replace my gen-1 nook. I'm interested in the Kobo Aura HD.  Anyone have one of these?  If so, how do you like it?  (Screen/software/web browser/etc).  I'm not really interested in the Kindle, because I've got hundreds of epub format books which the kindle can't read. The Aura HD has 256dpi with a 6.8" screen, 1GHz processor, and from the online reviews a better built-in light than the kindle.  I like the idea of the bigger screen with the built in light.

 

The other issue is that Kobo only has it available right now in brown.  I inquired about the other colors and received this in reply:

 

"Thank you for contacting Kobo, Tier 2 of Direct Orders.

 

Please be advised that I am afraid we currently have no stock available for the Kobo Aura HD in Onyx or Ivory and I have not been advised of when stock will be replenished.

 

Please every 2 to 3 days check on the Kobo Site to check on if those colors are made available.

 

I do apologize for this inconvenience."

 

I don't really like the look of the brown, either black or white would be okay.

 

In case anyone else was interested in the Aura HD e-reader, I got mine in last week. I ended up just buying the espresso (brown) one and it doesn't look too bad. It is very dark brown and looks almost black.  I don't know how this compares to the other new e-readers, but the only other e-reader I've ever used was my 1st-gen Nook and this thing is a huge upgrade.  There is so much improved in this over my old nook that it would take a huge post to go over it all, but briefly: 

 

- The screen: Much darker text on a much whiter background and noticeably sharper as well.  Also the larger screen 6.8" rather than 6" makes reading more comfortable on the eyes with more text on the screen and fewer page turns or larger text, almost like the difference between reading a hardcover vs. a paperback.

 

- Page turns are much faster with not as much blinking.

 

- Touch screen is nice and much easier to navigate. It's very responsive and quick compared to navigating around my old Nook.

 

- Light.  I was worried that this was going to be heavy after reading some reviews. Maybe it is heavier than some other new readers, but compared to my old Nook it is noticeably lighter and more comfortable to hold.

 

- Light.  The built in light is just awesome and probably its best feature and makes reading at night much easier.  I was using an LED clip-on book light with my Nook and it didn't illuminate the whole screen evenly and the batteries didn't last long at all with daily use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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