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Pick 'n Pay enters e-reader market with Kobo
Pick 'n Pay enters e-reader market with Kobo

Pick 'n Pay enters e-reader market with Kobo


ITWeb - Oct 31st 2012, 09:02

The Kobo Touch e-reader has been released in SA as part of an exclusive partnership between Pick 'n Pay and Kobo.

The Kobo Touch has a six-inch touch display and uses e-ink technology. It weighs 185g, can hold up to 1 000 e-books and has battery life of up to one month. It is WiFi-enabled and avaiable in black (with black backing) or white, with a choice of a silver, blue, lilac or white backing. The Kobo Touch also has a micro SD slot.

The Kobo Touch is now available at selected Pick 'n Pay Hyper and Supermarkets and online for R995.

Kobo currently has 10 million customers worldwide and over three million titles in its catalogue (including over a million free titles), and says it has worked with local publishers to make close to 100% of local bestsellers available on its platform. There are also more than 1 000 Afrikaans titles availble from the Kobo e-book store. Kobo says it is also working on making local textbooks available on the platform in the future.

Speaking at a launch event, in Johannesburg today, Kobo’s EVP for business development, Todd Humphrey, said the company has been wanting to enter the local market for some time. “We spoke to a number of potential partners and Pick 'n Pay was by far the most aggressive in wanting to get into this space.

“We’re looking at this as the beginning of e-reading in SA,” said Humphrey, adding that Kobo believes it can have the majority share of the local e-reader market within the next 12 months. Kobo also offers "Writing Life", a self-publishing tool for the platform. “It gives everyone the opportunity to be a published author,” noted Humphrey, adding that local publishers and authors are encouraged to reach out to Kobo to be included in the Kobo catalogue.

According to Kobo, the differentiating features of the Kobo Touch include its relatively low price point, large catalogue of content and open environment.

Pick 'n Pay says it is expecting strong sales of the device leading into the holiday season. The supermarket chain will earn a cut of the revenue from content purchased on e-readers bought from its outlets.

Pick 'n Pay’s marketing director, Bronwen Rohland, says: “There is no getting away from the fact that the world is becoming increasingly more digitally-focused and, by offering quality digital products at competitive prices, we can ensure these platforms become more accessible to a greater base of South African consumers.”

Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis says: “We’re excited to enter a new continent, and happy to be able to do so in partnership with Pick 'n Pay. Together, we hope to transform the digital publishing market by making more e-books available to more people throughout SA.”

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