updated 02:40 pm EST, Thu December 24, 2009
Borders to sell e-books for third-party e-readers
Book retailer Borders Group will not build and sell its own e-book reader, the company's chief executive said recently. Instead, it will partner with Kobo on an e-book service and make its wares compatible with as many existing e-book readers as possible. The service is due to launch in the spring of 2010. Borders owns 20 percent of Kobo, which is a spin-off of Canadian book chain Indigo Books & Music.
"I don't anticipate us doing our own e-reader for a whole variety of reasons, not least of which is that we're not a technology company. We're booksellers," said Borders Chief Executive Ron Marshall, pointing to the expense of developing such hardware from scratch. Also, getting to market quickly is a priority, as Borders is already said to be a latecomer to the e-book market, having missed the traditionally profitable holiday shopping season.
The Kobo e-book store promises to bring a library of two million books for sale, 1.8 million free books along with digital newspapers and magazines. Users will be able to read these publications on their Nooks, eReaders, iPhones and BlackBerries, though Amazon's Kindle will not be able to read the format. Borders currently only sells Sony's e-readers in its stores.