Kobo Reader With WiFi Is Leaked

Nate the Great has the details over at The Digital Reader: Kobo Wifi revealed

Putting aside the fact that it turns out the Kobo Reader is the same hardware as the fall-part junk that was the Cool-er, a WiFi Kobo Reader brings up one very important question: Will it be able to check out ePubs from a public library wirelessly?

This would require having both a browser and Adobe’s DRM scheme on-board.

I think both of those things are highly unlikely, however.

1) Kobo’s current scheme allows them to bypass Adobe DRM royalties.

2) Including Adobe DRM could raise the Kobo Reader’s price.

3) I’m not sure if Kobo is up the task of including a Webkit-based browser (which is what all the Cool Kids are using).

Aside from the public library question, the other one is: What will the price of this be? $139 to match Kindle 3? $149 to match Nook WiFi?

The wired Kobo Reader is US$129 and that’s probably squeezing its margins, so the pricing of this will be very interesting.

Update: Hm, a Commenter requires me to clarify something. Yes, underneath the Kobo Reader is the same hardware as the crappy Cool-er, but I haven’t seen the complaints about the Kobo as I did for the Cool-er. So, I don’t consider the Kobo Reader to be crap like the Cool-er. I still recommend the Kobo Reader.

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2 Comments

Filed under Kobo Reader

2 responses to “Kobo Reader With WiFi Is Leaked

  1. Alexander Inglis

    These comments about the Kobo are a little harsh and negative speculation rather than the usual insightful commentary.

    Kobo has made great strides — hey, it’s been in market in Canada since May 1 and the US since mid-June … barely three months. When it launched, it was $149 vs $259 for typical competitors. It came in with a very simple ePub reader — that’s a feature not a bug. The device launched in three large English-speaking territories; the kobobooks e-store serves additional markets, each with localized content. It’s partnered with Canadian, US and Australian/New Zealand bricks and mortar stores. The device is sold at Wal-mart in Canada. apps have been released for Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Android phones and, tomorrow, Android tablets. It’s desktop app is agnostic; you can plug in your Sony ereader and directly access the kobobooks store. And they’ve opened a New York office to be closer to content providers such as the publishing clique there.

    That’s a lot in a short period of time … and no doubt more to come. Outside of Amazon’s Kindle, there’s a lot of dithering in the industry; Kobo is really rolling a game plan that’s smart, connected, filled with partners, and, well, active.

    So … maybe Kobo will surprise you. Maybe its margins aren’t as tight as you believe. maybe Kobo isn’t “fall apart junk” that you imply. and maybe you won’t be able to wirelessly (wifi-ly?) grab library books — no one else can, can they? And what’s with the slam that you don’t think they are “up to the task” of including Webkit?

    My point in a nutshell: Kobo has done some pretty remarkable stuff in a few months in market and there’s no reason to think they will stop dead in their tracks here. A $129 wifi Kobo — full ePub access and library books and the kobobook store and wide device compatibility (read anywhere strategy) — probably can compete against a $139 Kindle and $149 Nook. And, in their back-pocket, a $99 non-wifi Kobo to share all the same content in the family. who knows, eh?

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