Kobo has announced a new batch of e-reading devices to launch worldwide. The range includes three tablets and an e-reader.
The Canada-based company is set to release the 10-inch Kobo Arc 10HD tablet [pictured] on 16th October, pre-uploaded with the Google Play store. It will include a front-facing camera, provide access to books, magazine, games, news and social media, and cost £299.99. Kobo called it “the best 10-inch HD Google-certified multimedia tablet on the market today for readers".
The two other tablets are both Kobo Arc 7-inch devices, one with high definition holding 16GB and at £159.99 and 32GB costing £189.99 and the other without HD “for those readers new to tablets” for £119.99.
Kobo is also making the Kobo Aura e-reader a permanent feature of its offering after launching the Kobo Aura HD limited edition in April at London Book Fair. The improved Aura is now thinner, lighter, with edge-to-edge display, high resolution, the “best” front-lit comfort light and new fonts for dyslexic readers.
Alongside the new devices, Kobo is also launching a Beyond The Book service for its digital readers, which highlights key topics within a book and provides aggregated content from across the web in "collections". "Featured collections" will be personalised with Kobo’s own editorial voice as well as respected authors and publishers, the company said.
At a press conference held in New York last night (27th August), Kobo also announced a brand new kids’ store, with accounts for children linked to their parents', "allowances", a "safe-search" feature, and awards–the digital equivalent of stickers. The company also said it had partnered with magazine publishers to bring fashion, science, business and technology magazines to its tablet readers. The company has partnered with Condé Nast, Hearst Corporation, American Media, Mansueto, Bauer Publishing Group, Mondadori Magazines, Rogers Publishing Limited and Reader’s Digest to provide the editions on its Arc tablets.
Kobo has also partnered with Pocket, a San-Francisco based company that lets users save and consume interesting web content they discover on a variety of devices.
The kids’ store is launching simultaneously in the UK, US and Canada this autumn; the digital magazine store will launch in the US and Canada this autumn and be in the UK before the end of the year, according to Kobo e.v.p. Michael Tamblyn. He said: "Our thinking on the magazine experience started only a year ago when we acquired the French company Aquafadas. Support from magazine publishers around the world has been shockingly positive; it’s the first time anyone came to them and said, ‘We have people who are already readers on our devices who want magazines'."
Kobo c.e.o. Michael Serbinis said: "Three years ago we started the 25-year transformation from print to digital. Sixteen million readers in 190 countries; more than a million authors; 20,000 ‘independent’ authors in Kobo Writing Life who now make up 10% of global sales; four million titles in 68 languages; millions of e-reading devices sold, giving Kobo the leading share in 10 of our 13 markets.” The company sees future growth in Brazil, Italy, South Africa, India, China, he said.