Kobo has experimented with many iterations of Android driven tablets, but has decided that their primary focus is going to be e-readers and apps.
The brand new Kobo H2O waterproof e-reader started shipping last week and CEO Michael Tamblyn said had achieved the highest rate of pre-orders of any other Kobo device. However, he also revealed tablet devices were no longer a focus area for the company. Instead, it will concentrate on three main e-reader models, the Kobo Touch, Kobo Aura and the new H2O.
Kobo has been developing tablets since 2011, with the advent of the Kobo Vox. The Toronto based company has done a number of followups, such as the Kobo Arc, Kobo Arc 7 and Kobo Arc 10 HD. Increased competition from notable vendors such as Apple, Amazon Samsung and Sony have relegated Kobo branded tablets to a novelty and not a must buy.
Tamblyn verified the exit of the tablet market by confirming “The tablet devices we already have out there will continue to be sold, but we are not at this point planning any new tablets.”
Kobo scored a major coup de tat when it reached an agreement with Sony to take over their digital book business. This resulted in over 25,000 new customers coming over to the Kobo ecosystem. Going forward, Sony has promised that their new smartphones and tablets will have the Kobo reading app pre-installed.
The future of Kobo looks bright. The company is focusing their energies on marketing their complete line of e-readers to international markets and refining their apps for Android and iOS. There really isn’t any need anymore to spend a copious amount of money, trying to compete against the big boys, when all you need is to have an exciting ecosystem and compelling apps.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.