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Kobo is Now Selling its eReaders on Kobo.com

Kobo is now selling its eReaders directly to consumers on Kobo.com to customers based in Canada and the United States. The company is now selling four devices, as well as accessories through this e-commerce enabled site. The company will continue to sell its devices through its retail partners which include: Best Buy, Indigo-Chapters, Toys“R”Us, Target,Walmart, and Staples.

The Canadian-based company, which is owned by the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, also revealed today that it is on track to become a billion dollar business this year. The company now has more than thirteen million customers at its eBookstore, which is accessible through Kobo eReaders and through various apps.

The company also revealed that so far this year, Kobo users have spent 10 million hours reading and turned more than 1.3 billion pages.


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Nook Color Boosted Barnes & Noble’s Sales & Revenues Into Positive Territory


Newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and the “record” (CD) business have all been dramatically affected by the digital revolution that took places in the past few decades. Physical book stores have been hit especially hard by the combination of online book sales as well as ebooks. While Borders Books announced its shutdown earlier this year, CNET reports that Barnes & Noble reported an uptick in both sales and revenue. This is despite the fact that books sales at the physical stores were down during the reported quarter.
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eReader/Tablet Ownership Up to 17% of U.S. Adults: Social Networks Taking Note


Looking at Pew Internet’s data on gadget ownership yesterday, Frank wrote:

Social Media Needs To Focus On Smartphones

This is not only true but is exactly what social network services have done up until now. No phone, for example, is considered complete with a Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Twitter app. The question is, what do they need to do to prepare for the future.

E-reader ownership doubles in six months

The spike in dedicated ereader device ownership can be traced to two events:

1. The Amazon WiFi-only Kindle becoming available for $139 in August 2010
2. The Nook color becoming available in November 2010 and becoming the device of choice to turn into a low cost tablet

Pew’s data shows a sharp rise in ereader November 2010 as people take advantage of the availability of these two devices during the holiday gift buying season. It should be noted that the higher priced tablets (for all practical purposes, the iPad) also showed a spike in ownership. The Nook color, which is not a low-cost Android tablet, blurs the lines between dedicated ereader and tablet. As ereaders become more tablet-like, they are also gaining social network features such as sharing ebook information. The combined ownership of ereaders and tablets by adults in the U.S. is 17% (adjusted for the 3$ of adults who own both device types). This is a remarkably high percentage for device categories that did not exist just a few years ago.

While 17% is just a fraction fo the 83% of adults who own a cell phone, ereader and tablet ownership is growing fast while cell phone ownership is near or at the saturation point. Moreover, many of the phones currently owned by 83% of the adult population may not be able to work with social networks (feature phones). Smartphones and ereaders/tablets also have different functions. Smartphones are all about on-the-go quick status updates (text, photos, video). Tablets, which destroyed the netbook category and is starting to affect notebook and desktop sales, is about managing social networks in longer sessions in the office, home or longer transit commutes.

People now have multi-screen lives. For many today, this is a phone (smart or not), computer, and TV. However, there is a growing number of people who add a tablet or ereader device to this screen mix. Social network services are paying more and more attention to both ereaders and tablets in recent months because they see the trends and know that they cannot focus on just one of the several screens people live on today.

New Ad-Supported Kindle 3G Available for $164


Amazon’s Kindle took off when they introduced a WiFi-only model for $139 late last summer. The advertisement supported versoin of the WiFi-only Kindle became available just a few weeks ago for only $114 and quickly became the best selling model according to Amazon.

Many are expecting Amazon to announce an Android tablet of some kind to compete with Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color and other Android tablets. However, that is not to be just yet. Instead Amazon announced a variant of their last successful play.

Amazon introducing ad-supported Kindle with 3G (USA Today)

The ad-supported Kindle 3G cost $164. This is $25 less than the $189 3G model without advertisements. Advertisements appear at the bottom of the Kindle’s list of books as well as the screensaver page (the page displayed when the Kindle is turned off). Advertisements do not appear on pages of books you read. Here’s what Amazon says about ads on the Kindle: Special offers and sponsored screensavers display on the Kindle screensaver and on the bottom of the home screen—they don’t interrupt reading. I’ve highlighted the advertisement area in the book list page here to make it easier to find it.

Were you considering a WiFi-only model recently? Does the new ad-supported 3G Kindle seem more appealing at $164.

Kindle 3G with advertisements

Blue Dot on Nook Color Box = Sideloaded Content Limited to 1GB (not a big issue)


Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color ereader device started out as a interesting device and passable alterntive to Amazon’s Kindle. Then, gadget fans discovered that the Nook Color was simple to root (gain full control over the device) and turn into a full, but unauthorized, Android device. Finally, Barnes & Noble themselves updated the Nook Color’s firmware and turned it into a full Android device. At $250, the Nook Color is possibly the least expensive Android tablet from a tier-one source.

However, according to Engadget, there is a “gotcha” in new Nook Color models. You can identify this revised device by a blue dot on its box.

PSA: New Nook Color partitioning only leaves 1GB for music, other sideloaded content

These new models limit the user to 1GB of internal system storage (out of a total of 5GB) for what is called “sideloaded” content. Sideloaded content is content provided by sources other the vendor (Barnes & Noble in this case) and includes music and video. However, This is a relatively minor issue since Nook Color owners can buy and install up to 32GB of storage in the form of microSD card to store sideloaded content.

Holiday Gift Guide To eReaders

The holiday shopping season is here and eReaders and tablets are poised to be the hot items of the season.

To help you navigate through all of the devices out there, we have compiled a Holiday Gift Guide To eReaders featuring the latest eReaders on the market. The below list includes eReaders that have come out over the last year and will be hot this season:

-Kindle Wi-Fi $139, Wi-Fi enabled, black-and-white eInk eReader with a 6-inch screen tied the Amazon bookstore

-Kindle 3G + Wi-Fi $189, 3G and Wi-Fi enabled, black-and-white eInk eReader with a 6-inch screen tied to the Amazon bookstore

-iPad $499 and up or $629 and up with 3G, Wi-Fi enabled tablet with a 9.7 inch screen. Supports almost every eReader app and eBookstore app under the sun with the ability to read multiple formats. It also includes lots of cool tablet features like apps, video streaming and audio.

-Nook Color $249, Wi-Fi enabled color screen eReader, tied to the Barnes & Noble bookstore, but supports multiple formats including apps coming soon. The Android-based device has a very nice color resolution and specializes in the experiences of children’s books and magazines. It has video and audio functionality with some limitations. Read more