A Japanese company called Rakuten bought e-book retailer Kobo in January 2012, and plans to roll all of its e-publishing work into Kobo, all to take on Amazon. Amazon is nearly ten times bigger as a company, but Kobo is building up more and more publishing houses into its stable, a Wired.com blog post reported.
Digital e-readers are but entry points, a Rakuten spokesperson told the BBC in November. This is no doubt a reference to the Kindle Fire competitor, Kobo sells. It's called the Vox and, like the Kindle Fire, runs the Android system, has a seven inch capacitive touchscreen and Wi-Fi. Worldwide, Kindle sales still lag behind Kobo, and the new Kindle e-reader ($80) is the first Amazon e-reader to support multiple languages. Advantage Kobo. That is to say nothing of the Nook e-readers from Barnes & Noble. Despite decent publicity and even good holiday sales in the U.S, they are basically irrelevant worldwide the Wired report said.
The fight between Amazon and Kobo has taken another interesting turn this week as Apple announced its iBooks platform with its own publishing software. iBooks doesn't use the EPUB technology that Kobo, Amazon and Sony use, so that will eventually have far-reaching effects. Book lovers take note.
Kobo makes the Vox, but also the Kobo Touch and Kobo Wi-Fi. The Vox, however is aimed squarly at the Kindle Fire because of the previously mentioned features, but it's even the same $200 price. It even comes in different colors and includes free shipping if ordered from Kobo.com. The Touch, also, takes dead aim at the Kindle Touch. They share the same price and the same name. Tell us in the comments if you've tried out any Kobo devices and if you think anyone can take on Amazon when it comes to e-books.