updated 11:30 pm EST, Tue December 15, 2009
Company teams with star-up Kobo
The bookstore chain Borders has confirmed plans to enter the realm of digital distribution, with an e-book store expected to debut in the second quarter of 2010. The upcoming portal will integrate with the company's current website, Borders.com, and offer content for a wide range of devices such as standalone readers or smartphones.
Analysts have criticized Borders for arriving in the e-book market later than several of its direct rivals such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Borders has chosen a different approach than its competitors, however, as it will remain "device neutral" and sell content through third-party readers instead of developing its own platform.
The new store will be created through collaboration between Borders and Kobo, a spin-off from the Canadian bookstore company Indigo. Kobo specializes in e-book content, while its parent company runs book stores under the Indigo name as well as the Chapters brand.
Borders will sell Sony's e-book readers in its stores, while users will also be able to download the publications for smartphone platforms including the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm, and Android. Borders CEO Ron Marshall says e-book portal is the "right move" for the company as the digital market continues to evolve.