images.jpgThat’s according to this press release:

Kobo, the only pure-play global eReading service built on an open platform, today announced that it has gained access to more than 20 million consumers through securing relationships with over a dozen partners that include tablet and eReader original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and mobile operators. Kobo has attracted key partners including Samsung and RIM with its unique, innovative, strategy of making eReading available on any device from its open, cloud-based platform.

“In 2011, Kobo will emerge as the leading eReading service thanks to the adoption of tablets like the iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and RIM Playbook. We estimate that Kobo will be preloaded on over 20 million devices this year,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo. “As the only pure-play service in the space, our strategy has always been to make eReading available on any device, and our open-platform eReading applications and eBook store have proven to be popular among tablet OEMs looking to offer eReading to their customers.”

Open standards are essential to giving users the freedom to build and access their lifetime libraries as they choose, something that Kobo’s partners are aligned with. Kobo’s content is accessible through more than ten platforms including most smartphones, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Android Tablets, PC and Windows Tablets, MAC and Linux. Kobo’s free applications are consistently among consumers’ favorites, regularly a top ten app in the iTunes store for 2010. Throughout 2011, Kobo will introduce support for additional platforms including QNX for the Blackberry Playbook.


  1. I hate how Kobo likes to say their “open” in comparison to a “closed” Amazon Kindle. While it is true Kobo uses the common ePub standard, they are wrapped in Adobe DRM.

    When I think open I think a common industry standard with no locks on it. Neither the Kindle or Kobo is open.

  2. Kobo isn’t open at all. Its apps are closed to all Adobe ePubs except those bought from Kobo. I have seen claims that some of its apps (but not their Desktop apps) support DRM-free ePubs, but if so at least one of their OEMs (Velocity Micro) does not know this. Velocity Micro actually recommends you install txtr on its Reader to read Adobe ePubs.

    Overall, Kobo is about as closed as Amazon. At least with Amazon it is possible to read DRM-free MOBI on all its apps.

  3. The Kobo Desktop App (such as for Windows) doesn’t use ePub at all, as far as I can see: it uses the proprietary Kobo format and streams pages as needed across the net.

    The Kobo reader itself plays non-DRM Adobe ePub files just fine (drag and drop onto the device or use the Adobe Reader for Windows to transfer them to the Kobo).

    So, Kobo is somewhat open, isn’t it?

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