The truth is that I actually felt bad for Kobo while writing this review — the company has consistently been the underdog in the e-reader race and it has always been overshadowed by larger competitors. But most of the time I felt badly for myself as I consistently waited for books to load, pages to turn, and the screen to register my taps. In the pre-Fire and Nook Tablet era, Kobo may have gotten by with a poor screen, underpowered processor, and sluggish software for $200, but the reality is that the other options out there provide an experience that’s incontrovertibly better for the exact same price. I think the answer is fairly obvious: the Vox isn’t a contender in this new cheap tablet race; it’s not even on the track.
Kobo might have played third fiddle to Amazon and Barnes & Noble in the e-reader space, but those strings will soon carry a different tune — the company just announced it’s being acquired by Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten for $315 million. Though Kobo’s stock was distributed a few different places (founding Canadian retailer Indigo had a majority, and defunct bookseller Borders famously had 11 percent), Rakuten has agreed to buy up the lot, giving the Japanese company a line of e-readers, tablets, ebook software and an estimated 5.6 million users to call its own. (via Kobo purchased by Rakuten, the Amazon.com of Japan | The Verge)
Completely and irreversibly out. Kobo, who had been running the backend from the start, are now the front-end brand on the Borders ebookstore.
Rats desert a sinking ship before the sailors know there’s a leak.
Does Borders have more clout than Amazon when it comes to negotiating with book publishers?