Amazon and Google hate Canada, but Toronto's Kobo is to the rescue

Posted by Knowlton Thomas

Amazon Canada isn't selling its famous Kindle e-reader to Canadians this holiday season, despite it being a hot ticket on the Christmas wishlist of many Northern bookworms and curious cats. (Citing supply problems. Which means they're reserving more copies for Americans.)

And Google's new online eBooks store? Well, that's for those greedy Americans only, too.

Heck, even the Nook—and who wants a Nook?—is a U.S.-only product.

Canadians need a Canadian solution to this e-reader drought, and that comes in the form of Toronto-based Kobo Inc., Indigo's answer to Amazon, Sony, and the like. Not that the Kobo e-reader is new—but it's been lost in the dust of Amazon's aggressive sales tactics. Now, however, there aren't many options for those North of the border, so it's time for Kobo to shine. From The Globe and Mail:

Not only is the Kobo e-reader currently the bestselling gift at the bricks-and-mortar bookstores of the device’s corporate parent, Indigo Books and Music, but Toronto-based Kobo Inc. is already selling books worldwide through an online store that pioneered many of the features touted at this week’s launch of the U.S.-only Google eBooks service.

Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis is quick to point out that  “Google isn’t bringing anything new to the party. Customers around the world can already access millions of books, newspapers and magazines on Kobo.”

Amazon.com is a closed-in system, while Google is open, permitting access by users of different devices—but Kobo pioneered this, having done so since its inception. Observers note that the Google service closely resembles the Kobo model. 

It's cold up here in the Winter, and a cold shoulder from Southern e-reader companies stings bitterly. Fortunately, Kobo cares about customer experience and it cares about Canadians: we can still read e-books in our igloos when the blizzards hit!

Company:
Google
Website:
http://www.google.com
Location:
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. As a first step to fulfilling that mission, Google's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a new approach to online search that took root in a Stanford University dorm room and quickly spread to information seekers around the globe. Google is now widely recognized as the world's largest search engine --... more

Company:
Amazon
Website:
http://www.amazon.com
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc., seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of... more

Company:
Indigo Books & Music Inc.
Website:
http://www.chapters.indigo.ca
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Indigo Books & Music Inc. is the largest book retailer in Canada operating bookstores in all 10 provinces under the names, Indigo, Chapters, World's Biggest Bookstore, and Coles. Indigo also operates chapters.indigo.ca an online retailer of books, music, movies, and more. A Canadian company based in Toronto, Ontario, Indigo provides consumers with inspiring retail and online environments for books and life... more

Company:
Kobo, Inc.
Website:
http://www.kobobooks.com/
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Kobo is a global eReading service backed by majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music, Borders Group, REDgroup Retail, and Cheung Kong Holdings. Kobo believes consumers should be able to read any book on any device. With a catalog of over two million eBooks, and an open platform, Kobo enables retailers, device manufacturers and mobile operators to bring the joy of eReading to customers everywhere. For more... more


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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys playing tennis or otherwise enjoying the outdoors. more



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