updated 10:00 am EST, Wed February 15, 2012
Kobo Vox spreads to Best Buy stores
Kobo made an important leap forward for itself Wednesday after it landed a deal for the Vox e-reader tablet to reach US Best Buy stores. The Android slate should be in stores now for the same $199 asked elsewhere. All four colors should be available on the Vox, which ships preloaded with both Kobo's own book app as well as PressReader newspapers, Zinio magazines, Merriam-Webster's Dictonary, and major apps like Rdio's music streaming, Facebook, and Twitter.
Best Buy has already been carrying Kobo's hardware in the past, focusing primarily on the Kobo Touch e-paper reader.
The expansion would help counter inroads made by Amazon's Kindle Fire and to help up Kobo's stakes in the US, where its share isn't as great as in its native Canada. Kobo was recently bought by Rakuten, but it so far acts mostly independently in North America and faces hurdles to staying relevant in the face of competition that can now sometimes be cheaper or promise more features. The company doesn't have a video store or much else beyond e-books t its heart.