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Sony Partners With Kobo To Bring eBooks To Xperia Tablets, Smartphones

Sony is now in the process of streamlining its operations to become more competitive in the market. Last year the company stopped selling its Sony eReaders in the North American market and instead promoted its Xperia tablets and smartphones as an alternative to reading eBooks bought at the Sony Reader Store. Now the company has announced also that it will be shutting down its Sony Reader eBook store in North America.

Sony Kobo

There is however good news for consumers who are using the Sony eReader and apps as they will be able to use the Kobo eBookstore in getting their eBooks. Sony has announced that Kobo will be providing consumers in the United States and Canada who are using the Sony eReader, Xperia tablet, and Xperia smartphone with a catalogue of more than 4 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers, graphic novels, and kids content.

Ken Orii, Vice President of Digital Reading Business Division Sony Electronics, said that “Kobo is the ideal solution for our customers and will deliver a robust and comprehensive user experience. Like Sony, they are committed to those most passionate about reading and share our vision to use open formats so people can easily read anytime and anywhere. Our customers can be assured that they will have a seamless transition to the Kobo ecosystem and will be able to continue to access and read the titles they love from Sony devices.”

Takahito Aiki, CEO of Kobo, said that “With a shared philosophy to deliver the best reading experience across platforms and with the best content available, Kobo and Sony will reach more people than ever before. Together, millions of customers across the US and Canada will find their next great read at their fingertips – any time, any place, and on any device.”

The Kobo app for Android will become pre-loaded in selected Xperia tablets and smartphones.

For those who are still using the Sony eReader hardware there is going to be an easy migration process that will start this coming March. This will give them access the Kobo eBookstore with their content from the Sony Reader Store available on the new platform. An email from Sony will be arriving soon providing details on the migration process. As of now, customers can still order books from the Sony reader Store.

Kobo is one of the fastest growing online stores where people could get their reading materials. There are currently more than 4 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers available to its more than 18 million customers in 190 countries.

via prnewswire

Kobo Announces New Tablets Arc 7, Arc 7HD, and Arc 10HD

Toronto based Kobo is best known for their eReader devices that compete with that of Amazon’s as well as Barnes & Noble’s. The company has just announced that 3 new tablet models are set for release this coming October 16. Meet the Arc 7, Arc 7HD, and Arc 10HD. What makes them different from the Kindle or Nook devices in the market is that they run on Android 4.2.2 and have access to the Google Play Store.

kobo arc

Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo said that “Kobo remains focused on Reading; a time-honoured passion that keeps people informed, lets them escape, learn about new cultures, see things from a new perspective, travel back in time, and imagine new worlds. With magazines joining our eBookstore, a new kids experience, and the best eReading devices possible, we will help Readers find more of what they love – taking them beyond the book.”

First up is the Kobo Arc 10HD which is a 10-inch Google certified multimedia tablet. Its display has a resolution of 2560×1600 and is capable of 1080p video playback. This makes it ideal for use in viewing any content such as magazines, books, apps and videos.

Technical Specifications

  • NVIDIA Tegra 4 1.8GHz quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • front-facing 1.3 MP HD camera
  • dual stereo speakers
  • WiFi 802.11
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 10 days battery life on Reading Mode
  • $399.99

Next is the Kobo Arc7HD which is a 7-inch tablet that’s got an HD display. It sports a resolution of 1920×1200 and is also capable of 1080p video playback. This is the perfect device for consumers who want an eReader with a great display yet comes at a small size.

Technical Specifications

  • NVIDIA Tegra 3 1.7GHz quad-core processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 16 GB/ 32 GB internal storage
  • front-facing 1.3 MP HD camera
  • 8 hour battery life
  • $199.99 16GB / $249.99 32GB

Finally there is the Kobo Arc 7 which is the perfect device to have for those who wish to buy their very first eReader.

Technical Specifications

  • 7-inch 1024X600 display
  • MTK 8125 1.2GHz quad-core processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8 GB internal storage
  • $149.99

via engadget

Kobo Arc Hits UK and Canada Markets

Consumers in Canada and the United Kingdom may now purchase the Kobo Arc tablet in stores. The same tablet is also on its way to France, where it is scheduled to be available starting Monday. Meanwhile, in the United States, the tablet has already made an appearance at the FCC, but the date when it will be available in the market still remains to be known.

As for the tablet’s price, the most inexpensive model costs $199.99 and offers 16GB of user memory. There is also a 32GB model which is priced at $249.99, and a 64GB model, which costs $299.99.

The Kobo Arc features a 7-inch multi-touch IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, and a pixel density of 215 ppi. It allows for comfortable viewing up to (+/-) 89-degree angles.

The tablet runs on a 1.5 GHz dual core processor and offers 1 GB of RAM. Its user memory is able to store almost 3 million books. Content discovery is facilitated through Tapestries, a Kobo exclusive offering that lets users pin content in displays.

Meanwhile, its battery promises 10 hours of use on a single charge and up to two weeks in standby mode. Its operating system is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. A Jelly Bean update, however, is already in the works.

The Kobo Arc is also packed with a 720p HD front-facing camera with a 1.3-megapixel image sensor. Said camera comes with autofocus, face detection with face unlock, and is certified by Skype, allowing users to engage in video-conferencing by means of such popular service easily.

There is easy access to some important controls on the tablet. The Kobo Arc is equipped with touch sensors for Home, Back, Menu, Power, and Volume.

Furthermore, this Google-certified slate has access to the Google Play Store, Google Maps, Youtube, Gmail, Street View, Google+, Google Chat, Contacts, and Calendar. All of these apps are already pre-installed on the Kobo tablet, along with Facebook, Skype, Twitter, Zinio, and Rdio.

Will you be purchasing a Kobo Arc tablet?

via androidauthority

Kobo Arc Tablet Visits FCC

The Kobo Arc tablet has made an appearance at the website of the Federal Communications Commission, hinting at an impending launch in the United States.

The tablet is said to be scheduled for launching this November, and will be priced at $200 for the 16GB model, $250 for the 32GB model, and $300 for the 64GB model.

The tablet is packed with a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. Out of the box, its operating system is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. However, Kobo assures users that they will be provided with an upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. For easy access, the tablet offers home, back, and menu touch sensors for navigation as well as power and volume buttons.

Its seven-inch display has a 1280 x 800 High Definition resolution and 251 ppi. Said screen is also able to remain clear even when viewed from extra wide angles.

Also onboard is a 720p HD 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, a microUSB port, and support for Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity. Users will likewise find dual speakers on its front and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

Its battery promises to offer 10 hours of reading and up to 2 weeks of standby on a single charging session.

The tablet moreover comes with preloaded software such as Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Rdio, Zinio, PressReader, and Google apps like Google Play, Youtube, Gmail, StreetView, and Google Maps, among others.

In terms of measurements, the Kobo Arc spans 7.4 x 4.7 x 0.5 in and spans 12.8 oz.

This Android tablet comes in two color options: black and white.

While Kobo tablets may not be as popular as Android tablets from Google, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, the Liliputing blog points out that it has several advantages over those tablets. For one, users have the option to purchase a 64GB model, which Google does not carry for its Nexus 7 tablet. Furthermore, the tablets from Amazon and Barnes & Noble do not offer access to the Google Play Store.

via liliputing

Kobo Arc Tablet To Hit Stores In November

Kobo modified the Arc tablet even before the device even made it to market. Kobo initially announced that the tablet would be having 8GB or 16GB of storage capacity, and be priced at $200 and $250.

Kobo’s latest press release, however, shows that the company decided to add more storage to the tablet. Thus, when the Kobo Arc tablet finally goes up for sale, consumers are given more choices in the storage department, and may select the one that is best suited for their needs. The 16GB model will retail for $199.99, the 32GB model will sell for $249.99, and the 64GB model will be available for $299.99. All three tablets will arrive on market shelves this coming November.

The Kobo Arc tablet runs on a 1.5GHz OMAP 4470 dual-core processor, which is also offered on the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9.  Its display measures 7 inches, and is of the High Definition type with a resolution of 1280 x 800, 178-degree viewing angles, as well as support for 16 million colors. This display allows for comfort in viewing the display’s content, even if the user is outdoors. This display is also made durable by its glass covering which Kobo claims to be the most resistant among the other available tablets.

Its operating system is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, although the Kobo team is already working on an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update. A 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera and a built-in microphone may be used for video chat. Moreover, the tablet is equipped with front-facing stereo speakers with SRS TruMedia technology. Wi-Fi 802.11 allows users to browse the Internet and download content onto the device.

The tablet allows for access to Google Play, opening up to users the possibility of downloading some of the store’s 600,000 apps. For convenience, however, Kobo has preloaded some apps onto the device. Among these are Facebook, Twitter, Zinio, Rdio, and PressReader.

True to Kobo’s Read Freely philosophy, the Kobo Arc facilitates reading by including a feature that syncs one’s personal library across different devices.

Apart from the Kobo Arc, the company also announced the Kobo Mini, Kobo Touch and Kobo Glo tablets recently.

via liliputing 

Kobo Releases Glo, Mini, and Arc E-Readers

Kobo launched three new e-readers to expand its product lineup just prior to Amazon announced its new devices. This is a strategic move on their part, especially since Kobo is not as well-known as companies like Amazon and Barnes & Noble are in producing e-readers. The Kobo Glo, Kobo Mini, and Kobo Arc are all direct competitors against products like the Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Paperwhite, and of course, the Barnes & Noble Nook tablet.

The Kobo Glo is an e-reader that features ComfortLight technology. This technology illuminates the page that the reader is on instead of the reader’s eyes. Users can moreover adjust the level of light. For its display, the Kobo Glo has a six-inch 16-level grey scale E Ink XGA Pearl screen with a resolution of 1024×768 pixels. Said screen is glare-free and fingerprint-resistant. It runs on a 1GHz processor and offers Wi-Fi connectivity and a micro USB port. On a single charge, the device can reportedly be used for more than a month without the use of the light and Wi-Fi. On the other hand, it can be used for 55 hours if the light is used. The Kobo Glo sells for $129.99 and comes in the colors Black Night, Pink Sunset, Blue Moon, and Silver Star.

The Kobo Mini is marketed as “the world’s smallest and lightest full-featured eReader.” Kobo packs this device with a no-glare 5-inch natural E Ink touchscreen with Vizplex V110 display and 16 level grey scale. This is also glare-free and resistant to fingerprint marks. The eReader is also equipped with an 800 MHz processor, support for Wi-Fi connectivity, and a microUSB port. Its battery promised more than two weeks of usage, provided that Wi-Fi is not used. Users can store 1,000 books on its 2GB storage. Kobo sells this for $79.99, and it is available in white and black, but users can change the back of the Mini with a Ruby Red, Purple, or Teal covering.

Lastly, the Kobo Arc is an Android Ice Cream Sandwich-powered eReader. It has a seven-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and 16 million colors. It runs on a 1.5GHz dual core processor along with 1GB of RAM. Kobo also includes a 720p HD front-facing camera with a 1.3 MP sensor, front-facing speakers, and a 3.5 mm audio jack. Users can store almost 3 million books on its 8GB or 16GB storage capacity. It also offers Wi-Fi connectivity and several pre-loaded apps like Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Gmail, Youtube, Zinio, PressReader, among others.

Consumers interested in these devices may purchase them at retailers like Staples, Best Buy, Sears, and Target.

via venturebeat

Amazon Blocking Competitors E-Reader Apps?

The Amazon Kindle Fire has been the best selling item to date on, that says a lot considering how long Amazon has been around.  Amazon’s Kindle Fire is the ultimate media consumption machine. It’s also been said that Amazon is taking a small loss on each Kindle Fire, hoping to recoup that money with purchases from each user.

Now one thing that can get in the way of those media consumption dollars would be competing e-book reader services like Kobo for instance. According to this report from Android Guys, it looks like Amazon may be blocking, or at least making it harder to find those competing apps in the Amazon market place.

Sure, it may have been a point of discomfort for Amazon to allow e-readers and such in their Android app store before the Kindle Fire but now they are directly competing with those developers.

A developer called “BlueFire” (no relation to Kindle Fire) was reportedly notified by Amazon that their app was compatible with the new Kindle Fire however when they went to search for it themselves they couldn’t find it.

source: Android Guys

E-Readers & Tablets Finally Kill Off Borders, Liquidation Starts Friday

In a heartfelt and humble letter sent to all the customers on Borders’ email list, CEO Mike Edwards details the end of a 40 year book buying tradition.  Borders found themselves without a suitable buyer earlier this month and returned to court to start the liquidation process.

The book publishing industry has been in a downward spiral since the introduction of e-readers like the Kindle, the Kobo and the Android powered Nook and Nook Color.  People are preferring to get their reading material instantly, and have it with them on the go.

More after the break

E-Books Closing in: Borders Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

We are going to go out on a limb here to tie this story to tech relevance. Here’s how: Borders sells Kobo’s, e-book readers which have an Android app. Their biggest competitor, Barnes & Noble, sells the Nook Color fully functional Android tablet once rooted, e-book reader. So here goes:

Border’s CEO Mike Edwards sent out an email a few minutes ago that announced to Border’s rewards members that they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday. Borders has struggled after over expansion and a deal to purchase mall retail chains B.Dalton and Walden Books, never went in the right direction.  Borders has also struggled with getting up to speed in the e-book space.

Read more including Mike Edwards letter after the break:


Aldiko Announces Aldiko Book Reader 2.0 For Android

If you’re looking for an e-book application and Kindle doesn’t seem to do it for you than you may want to check out the Aldiko Book Reader 2.0 for Android.  Over the past year Aldiko has actually become the #1 ebook reader for Android. The company has announced their 2.0 versions availability via the Android market.

Some of the changes in the new version include:

  • Rich features including adjustable font, margin, alignment, line spacing, brightness, display orientation and navigation control, bookmark, day/night themes, dictionary, full-text search, table of contents.
  • An advanced library management system that enables users to sort books by different criteria and organize books by tags and collections.
  • An Import feature that enables users to transfer their eBooks and documents into the application.
  • A My Catalog feature that enables users to add their own eBook catalogs.

Aldiko is very popular overseas. Aldiko is also very easy to integrate with Calibre’s ebook organizer software. If you have a title in Calibre’s ebook manage it can easily sync to your ebook reader.

Check out Aldiko at appbrain here

Would A Borders and Barnes & Noble Marriage mean the Nookobo?

It comes as no shock that the sale of actual books is dwindling down every year. In fact the Border’s Group has been slowly closing down it’s boutique shopping mall stores in hopes to drive more customers to their stand alone big book boxes.  However with new e-readers coming out everyday and Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google and Borders competing for the same space, the digital age is cutting into the physical book margin at an unheard of rate.

On the heels of another down quarter for the Borders Group, Border’s investor William Ackman has pledged an investment through his hedge fund of 960 million dollars for Borders to buy Barnes & Noble.  Call it crazy but so was K-Mart buying Sears.

Talk in the financial community about this merger all seems to point to its validity, it’s well known that Barnes & Noble would like to increase its foot print but building out stores, in the digital age, has been costly.

So if the two book giants to get together what does that mean for their e-book space.  Both the Nook and Kobo run a backbone on the Android Operating System however, the Nook is outselling Kobo by a margin of tat least 3-1. Barnes and Noble claims to have a hold of 20% of the digital book market.

Although there are no reports on what will happen to the ebook units we would say its a safe bet that they would continue on with the Nook legacy.  Draw both libraries together and offer one big humongous library via the Nook. Or maybe open one complete library together ala Google Editions that is available on both devices.

According to publishers weekly e-book sales are up 112% from the same time last year. In fact the only unit at Borders that saw growth was it’s e-book unit which rose 24% so that is definitely where the market is going.  The e-book allows readers a freedom to take several publications with them at one time, imagine stuffing a bunch of magazines and books into your purse.

Barnes and Noble just started selling the Nook color (which has already been rooted) and expects that to be their growth item this holiday season.

What do you think, the Nookobo?

Source: Investorplace Publisher’s Weekly