Kobo claims 20% of global e-reading market

Kobo increased its global e-ink device sales by 150% in December, making it the "biggest month" for the company so far.

The Canada-based retailer said that contrary to suggestions that e-ink devices would decline in popularity over Christmas, its sales of those models rose by 150% in  December, leading the company to claim it now has 20% of the global e-reading market.

In the last six months, Kobo has attracted more than four million new customers internationally, taking its total registered consumers to 12 million. It has also nearly doubled the number of e-books it has sold on last year.

The most-read digital books in 2012 were the Fifty Shades of Grey series and the Hunger Games books, but romance fiction is the most popular genre read on Kobo devices overall, the company said. Kobo also said it saw customers buying 20% more e-books in 2012 in comparison to 2011.

Kobo c.e.o. Michael Serbinis said: "In December we celebrated Kobo's third anniversary as well as the biggest month for the company yet. Millions of new users registered with Kobo in December alone, annual device sales soared with millions of Kobo e-readers bought, and e-book sales nearly doubled from the previous year.

"2012 was truly outstanding for our company and our network of booksellers and retailers around the world."

On Christmas Day itself, the company said it saw users reading more than 22m pages, with Kobo readers in Canada reading the most (an average of 200 pages each), while in America they read an average of 160 pages and in Britain 93 pages.
 
During 2012, Kobo launched three new e-reading devices and opened e-reading services in Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Japan, Spain, South Africa, and the Netherlands.