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Kobo expands platform with support for dedicated eReaders

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Kobo (http://www.KoboeReader.com), a global eBook retailer, has announced support for dedicated eReaders with a new application available through its “Powered by Kobo” partner program for hardware manufacturers and retailers.

Kobo’s application provides a eReading experience and storefront and will be embedded in leading eReaders launching in 2010. The company today also unveiled its Kobo eReader, a dedicated eReading device showcasing its new application.

The launch of the Kobo eReader application marks a first in this emerging market — standard software available for hardware partners worldwide, according to Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo. Kobo has developed a strong global following for its eReading applications for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre, and Android-based smartphones, and full color, touchscreen tablets including the upcoming iPad, he adds.

The “Powered by Kobo” program provides a solution for partners to launch an eReader or eBook store offering eBooks, newspapers and magazines to their customers. Partners have access to applications for smartphones, netbooks and laptops, new tablets, and now dedicated eReaders. They also have access to application programming interfaces, a software development kit, a mobile storefront, and custom integration options to differentiate their offering.

The new Kobo eReader will be available for a limited time through Kobo’s retail partners for US149. It will be pre-loaded with 100 books so consumers can start reading right out of the box. Consumers can access Kobo’s catalog of over two million eBooks, including bestsellers, newspapers and magazines through USB or wirelessly through Bluetooth. The Kobo eReader will be available first at Indigo Books & Music in Canada in May, followed by Borders in the US this summer.

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