Worldwide sales of ebook readers, such as the Kobo wireless readers shown here, are predicted reach 67 million by 2016, nearly triple the 25 million devices expected to be sold in 2011 according to a recent forecast by Juniper Research.
The research firm expects sales to remain strong thanks to falling prices, the price of the market-leading Kindle has fallen significantly (from $349 to $79) since it was launched, and the benefits of electronic ink technology.
Indigo, the majority shareholder in Kobo, announced today that it has agreed to sell Kobo Inc. to Rakuten, Japan’s biggest online shopping mall operator, for US$315 million.
The book retailer, which founded and spun Kobo off in 2009 as an independent company, says expects to receive approximately US$140 million to US$150 million from the proceeds of the sale on a fully diluted basis.
Toronto based Kobo Inc today announced the Kobo Vox Colour, a $200 Android tablet with WiFi connectivity and a seven inch LCD multi-touch colour screen with 1024 x 800 pixel resolution.
Kobo says the was built for readers but also comes pre-loaded with an email, web browser, and media player application. For magazine and book reading, the device also comes with the Zinio application pre-installed.
Sony Canada today announced the Reader Wi-Fi which the company claims will be the world’s lightest eReader and one of the longest lasting thanks to an estimated battery life of over three weeks. With Wi-Fi turned off, battery life is estimated at over a month.
According to the company, the Reader Wi-Fi will also be the first eReader to offer wireless connectivity to the public library system in Canada via a dedicated icon on the device. With eReader and a valid library card, owners should be able to borrow free books from their local library.
The percent of U.S. adults with an e-book reader doubled from 6% to 12% between November 2010 and May 2011 according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
Indigo has announced that its Kobo touchscreen version is now available in-store.
Powered by a Freescale i.MX507 processor, the Kobo Touch features a six inch e-ink infrared screen which can display 16 levels of greyscale, WiFI connectivity, a virtual keyboard for typing, 1 GB of internal memory and the ability to add 32 GB of storage via a MicroSD slot.
In a sign of how the world has changed in the last decade, Amazon announced today that less than four years after introducing digital books, Amazon.com customers are now purchasing more Kindle books than all print books – hardcover and paperback – combined.
Amazon begin selling its Kindle reader and Kindle books in November 2007. By July 2010, digital book sales had surpassed hardcover book sales, and six months later, digital books overtook paperback books to become the etailers most popular format.
The worldwide media tablet market grew 45.1% in the third quarter of 2010 thanks to continued huge demand for the Apple iPad according to a report out this week from the International Data Corporation.
Meanwhile, global eReader sales expanded rapidly in the third quarter of 2010 with total shipments reaching 2.7 million units, representing a 40% gain over the previous quarter.