Category Archives: borders
It’s amazing how intense the battle has become between the various companies slinging their latest devices for reading e-books. I remember the exact moment when I first heard about the Amazon Kindle. In fact, I said, “Really? That would never sell.”
… yeah, don’t put me in charge of business predictions, folks.
As you know, the Kindle is the leading e-reader among buyers. In 2010, the Kindle sold about 22 million units. Meanwhile, major-minor players like Barnes & Noble and Borders tried to play catch-up with their own respective launches. Then Apple’s iPad hit, and while iBooks makes it seem like a major player in the game, the fact that it’s more tablet than e-reader places it within an entirely different arena.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like the Nook and Kobo – in fact, I own a NookColor and love it to pieces. I never liked the Kindle for aesthetic reasons; I don’t like black text on a gray background, the Kindle does look like a huge calculator, and while eInk is really neat, I’m not crazy about it. I know a lot of my preferences stem from the fact that I’m a cartoonist and love the world of color too much – hence my current e-reader of choice.
For whatever reason, though, the Kindle has become insanely popular and continues to have a strong hold on the e-reader market. I see people reading all the time on their Kindles while riding the T – as a native Miamian residing in Boston, it is a lovely thing to witness on public transportation.
But what about the Kobo?
Honestly, I don’t know much about it. I thought Barnes & Noble had a lot of work to do to compete with the Kindle, but the Kobo is in an even worse spot. The company is doing good things, though: as a result of its “Read On Revolution,” Kobo donated 100 of its devices to a high school, as well as $3,000 worth of e-books.
Additionally, according to The Toronto Star,
In the U.S., Amazon.com’s Kindle is the market leader with a 41 per cent share, followed by Barnes & Noble at 27 per cent. Kobo ranks third somewhere “in the double digits.”
What are “double digits”? At least 10 percent, I guess. But Kobo needs to step up its game in order to really compete with Nook and Kindle. I have a pretty extensive selection of e-books through B&N, as well as magazines. Oh, and apps, including one of the angry bird variety.
What does the Kobo bring to the table?
Some news courtesy of Publisher’s Lunch: Barnes & Noble’s made about $7 billion this year, thanks to BN.com and their line of Nooks. Meanwhile, at the other end of the pool, Borders lost $35 million. Ow.
I hope Borders can slowly bounce back from their bankruptcy. (Wow, that’s more alliteration than I can usually handle!) I learned the Borders at Downtown Crossing was closing soon, which really saddened me. What the heck is going to go there instead? It’s huge! And while I’m looking forward to a somewhat decent sale, I don’t know where I’m going to put those books. Not a clue.