WHSmith has announced that it will be bringing the Kobo ereaders to 750 of its stores next week.
The Kobo eReader and the eReader Touch Edition will go on sale in the stores costing £89.99 and £109.99 respectively. Both devices use a pearl eink 6in screen with the former featuring a large five-way pad for navigation while the latter uses infrared sensors to work out where your fingers are, helping the display's contrast.
The Kobo eReader will be in direct competition with the new Kindle, which costs exactly the same. Where Kobo and WHSmith have an advantage however is with the Touch Edition, as Amazon has yet to make the new touch-screen Kindle available in the UK.
The Kobo ereaders have access to 2.2 million titles, including one million free ebooks. While the Kobo eReader promises a battery life of a month, the Touch Edition only has two weeks of battery life on a single charge.
With WHSmith announcing a 4 per cent increase in profits to £93 million, its CEO Kate Swann, said: “WHSmith is pleased to be working with Kobo to bring its world class eReaders and eBookstore to the UK and Irish markets. The partnership with Kobo further extends our presence in this developing market whilst complementing our physical books business.”
Whether the Kobo devices will be able to make an impact on the ereader market in the UK is questionable with the Kindle and Sony Reader devices already firmly established and competitively priced.
Source: WH Smith (pdf)