WHSmith launches e-book reader rivals to Amazon Kindle
Calls on Kobo
WHSmith will next week launch against Amazon's Kindle with a pair of e-book readers of its own.
The UK newsagent will begin selling the Kobo reader from the Canadian company of the same name on 17 October.
Kobo has e-book stores in Canada and Australia, and the WHSmith deal will bring its 2.2m - of which 1m are freebies: out-of-copyright classics and the like - to UK high streets.
Kobo this week announced a partnership with France's FNAC chain to bring its e-book readers and shop there.
The WHSmith deal isn't exclusive - Kobo's readers are already available over here from catalogue sellers such as Freemans and Grattan.
WHSmith will offer two devices: a basic £90 model and an upgraded version with a touch-sensitive screen for £110.
Amazon has the Kindle Touch, but since it has yet to bring that to market over here, WHSmith's Kobo Touch will be what it claimed is "the first Wi-Fi touchscreen e-reader widely available in the UK".
Sony's PRS-300 Reader is "widely available" and has a touchscreen, but it lacks Wi-Fi. Its wireless successor, the £129 PRS-T1, has yet to ship in the UK, according to the Sony website.
Both Kobo devices come with 2GB of storage and Micro SD storage expansion. They're based around 6in E Ink screens - Pearl technology in the case of the wireless model. ®
English is not the only language out there ya know.
Amazon - Russian eBook titles - 0. Kniga.com - > 40000 titles (in both ePub and Kindle mobi).
Amazon - French eBook titles... Amazon Spanish eBook titles... and so on.
As far as the reader - it is worth getting for the ePub.
Amazon kindle is too well integrated - if you do not de-register it, all purchases are one-click. Anyone who has access to the reading material can buy too.
There is no way in hell I am giving a one-click purchase access via my account to junior for example. If you de-register the Kindle however it becomes inferior to Sony and all the rest because it does not support ePub.
So all in all especially outside the UK/USA the jury is still out and will remain out for a long time (I do not see Amazon catching up to Kniga.com for Russian books for example).
I hope not so pointless
Good and cheap(ish) e-readers other than the Kindle series do not exist, and I'm really happy to see that someone is trying to offer some alternative product. I'm just waiting for the first touch screen e-readers to decide which suites me best. And I am taking into account the flexibility of the reader, as opposed to the closeness of the market that Amazon is trying to obtain. (sorry if I express myself as a monkey, my mother tongue is not English)
So, if I can buy an e-book reader that is as good as the Kindle, but with added extra formats support (epub, mobi, html, pdf, rtf, text...) then that is my preferred choice.
Two things about the Kindle DX; it is nowhere near A4 size. Under 10" where A4 is about 14"; and it is no longer available. While the former kind of weakens the argument the latter kills it stone dead.
Had a look at the latest Kindle this weekend (also a 6" screen) and I didn't have a problem with the screen size at all. Plenty big enough for reading, even with my glasses on. I think some of the people complaining about the screen size may never have encountered eInk. If you haven't then bear in mind that it is nothing like a laptop/tablet screen, it's pretty much like looking at ink on paper and that makes all the difference.
You remind me of my first (wannabe) guitar teacher. If I could play a new chord for every right-hander that advised me that I would find it easier to learn to play the guitar the wrong way round...
My numeric keypad remains in pristine condition. I find it near impossible to use most portable power cutting tools. Yes, it's me that reaches out for the hot water tap by mistake. When I'm slightly distracted I open the wrong tube barrier. Actually, when the bank of milk stool barriers were first introduced at Holborn I assumed they were not working because they never worked for me - It was only when I saw another leftie take her ticket out then transfer it to her right hand (P Marsden where are you now?) that the penny dropped.
Irons and kettle are two of the few devices that are handed neutral but the design history of those is quite amusing.
I do not take a conscious decision to be left-handed, I spend a fair amount of time coping (sometimes badly) with a right handed world.
There may be some mileage in it..
There are a lot of avid readers who don't know what a kindle is - some/most of these still go into WHS (and waterstones, etc) to buy books.
These are the target I guess.
Whether the target is big enough to make money - who knows? Anybody even slightly technical or IT literate will immediate make comparisons on functionality, ease of use and price between this and other e-book readers.
Still, competition is always good I guess - and if it can be more easily 'jailbroken/homebrewed' that other devices it could gain a wider audience that anticipated.