Borders joining the ebook scene



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  1. #1
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Borders joining the ebook scene

    I was wondering when Borders would make a move:

    Not much detail yet, but it makes things a little more interesting.

    From their press release:
    Borders Partners With Kobo to Deliver eBooks
    ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec 15, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE: BGP) today announced a strategic investment and commercial partnership with Kobo, Inc., a global eReading service that is the newly named spin-off of Toronto-based Indigo Books & Music Inc.'s Shortcovers digital reading initiative. Through the partnership, Borders will launch a new eBook store integrated into Borders.com and powered by Kobo. In addition, Kobo will power a Borders-branded eBook store for multiple mobile devices. Sales through these Borders-branded eBook stores will be booked by Borders. Kobo's mobile applications are device neutral, which will enable consumers to purchase eBooks from Borders on popular smartphones such as the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre and Android, as well as other devices. Borders and Kobo plan to launch these new services within the second quarter of 2010.



    Kobo is an innovative company that as Shortcovers has already, in a matter of months, provided eBooks to customers from over 200 countries who have downloaded its reader application over one million times online and through devices including smartphones, desktops and popular eReaders such as the Sony Reader. As a leading book retailer with a strong customer following--including over 35 million members of its Borders Rewards loyalty program--Borders Group shares Kobo's vision of providing consumers any book on any device. Other investors in Kobo include Indigo, Instant Fame, a subsidiary of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd. of Hong Kong and REDGroup Retail Pty Ltd. of Australia.

    "Our partnership and investment in Kobo is a significant step in our digital strategy of providing eBooks however our customers want to consume them," said Borders Group Chief Executive Officer Ron Marshall. "Kobo's global, device neutral and open approach will allow Borders-branded software applications to be downloaded on a variety of devices and is the right move for Borders as the digital market continues to evolve. We look forward to building on this key element of our digital strategy as we address the growing eBook opportunity while also remaining committed to improving our brick and mortar superstore business."
    Regard all phenomena as dreams.

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  3. #2
    Administrator
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    Default Re: Borders joining the ebook scene

    Thanks for the great article! It looks like Kobo has their own app for reading books, which I assume Borders would use as well. But it also looks like you can get ADE versions of their books, so they should be compatible with the nook too. That is great! I am excited that I jumped on the nook bandwagon, as it looks like there are so many places to get books now. B&N and B&N owned stores, Sony, the library, soon Borders, and of course all the DRM free sites. I think by being compatible with ADE, the doors will open wide for what books can be bought to put on the nook, since Adobe is probably willing to sell their format to anyone that’ll buy it, and of course eBook stores will use it because it allows them to use a DRM scheme while still making their books available to a wide variety of devices. This is very good news. I would not be surprised if at some point in the future the Kindle becomes compatible with ADE.

    Cheers!
    Rachel
    Visit the Barnes & Noble Store

    Now Reading: As Young as We Feel by Melanie Carlson

  4. #3
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: Borders joining the ebook scene

    Rachel, yes this looks like nothing but good news for us nook-fans at the moment. A quick perusal of a non-scientific sampling of books showed that they still have a bit of work to do on prices to catch up w/B&N and/or Amazon, but with the influx of cash from Borders and elsewhere they'll probably be able to get competitive very quickly.

    At a quick glance I thought their site was appealing and I'll be sure to check it out in more depth soon.
    Regard all phenomena as dreams.

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  6. #4
    mfaine
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    Default Re: Borders joining the ebook scene

    I have always thought that Borders was just Barnes & Noble but only in another region. Like Fred's and Kroger and Carl's Jr. and Hardees. I guess the fact that the last time I was in a Borders it looked exactly, and I do mean exactly, like a B&N with only the word 'Borders' substituted where 'Barnes & Noble' would otherwise be.

  7. #5
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: Borders joining the ebook scene

    It's kind of interesting. I went into the Borders store the other day and there at the entrance was a bunch of tables. You know the ones that are in the way and you have to walk around. One of the tables had a display of Sony Readers, a whole slew of them. No one buying them.

    Now, going into the Barnes and Nibble you have to search and you will find the single nook, cabled to the customer service desk. Three people, each trying to use it. And Me in the background wishing they would leave so I could play with it.
    My search continues.....

  8. #6
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: Borders joining the ebook scene

    Borders has been selling the Sony Reader for several years now, I think it's been over three. They've also had co-branding with Sony for the Reader Store (formerly the eBook Store) for a couple of years now. I guess they decided to really own it now, rather than just loan Sony their name.

  9. #7
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: Borders joining the ebook scene

    According to a New York Times article, Borders and Kobo *are* going to make yet another wireless-capable e-reader, so that should keep things rather interesting. I think Sony will be a distant fourth unless they bring their pricey $399 version a little closer to the others, otherwise they'll fall even further behind.
    Regard all phenomena as dreams.

  10. #8
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: Borders joining the ebook scene

    I was looking at the glitzy advert included in the Sunday paper for Sony products...mostly cameras, but the three models of ereaders were included. I thought the prices were pretty high, even for the lowest cost one, since the memory seems to be much less than nook.

    I am sooo hoping this won't be a vhs vs. beta war...

  11. #9
    Thing 1 Klaatu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Borders joining the ebook scene

    I like the choices. Even though I think Sony is dropping the ball feature-wise with their readers at least they have more than one model they can sell to people. The price, the internal storage capacity, and the lower resolution screen on the Sony Daily Edition and Touch are the main reasons I dropped another Sony from my list when I was considering a new eReader.

    Regards,
    Michael
    'Not all who wander are lost.'
    ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

    CURRENTLY READING: A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

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