Kobo launches touchscreen e-reader

Kobo launches touchscreen e-reader

Kobo has unveiled a new touchscreen version of its e-book reader at Book Expo America, which it is aiming at less digitally savvy book buyers.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Kobo chief executive Michael Serbinis described the e-book market as David versus the Goliaths of Apple and Amazon.

Serbinis told the newspaper he wants to establish the business as the number one player in a $90bn global market by pricing the device competitively. The technology company sells its e-book reader through W H Smith in the UK, with the device priced £99.

It is offering its new touchscreen reader at $130 (£80.53) and Serbinis said the wi-fi device price will drop to $99 in the US (£61.33)

The company is also offering its software to tablet and smartphone manufacturers in need of an e-book app. Serbinis said its e-book app was downloaded 1m times onto the iPad last week.

However, Serbinis said Kobo is not planning a multi-function tablet. He said: "It's immersive—you don't have Skype and other messages going off in the background—and now e-readers are going to a younger group of kids, parents don't want their kids spending all their time playing games. We stand for reading in an age of 200m Angry Birds downloads."