Copia, DMC Worldwide’s much-anticipated book-focused social media and retail venture, has finally gone live. And in a surprise announcement, Copia has cancelled plans to produce its own line of branded digital readers and instead will partner with a variety of yet-to-be-named OEM partner/manufacturers to deliver the Copia software on their devices.
Once downloaded an installed on an iPad or Mac or PC desktop, the Copia platform will allow users to buy hundreds of thousands books, share and dicuss books with friends and even write “margin notes” in e-books. The Copia app for iPad can be downloaded here and software for Mac and PC desktop computers can be downloaded here.
Copia’s decision to cancel its branded devices comes as a surprise. The firm had announced plans to offer a $99 digital e-reader with a backlit color screen as part of a suite of Copia digital readers priced from $99 to about $299 for a 10 inch color backlist screen device with wi-fi.
Now, however, Ben Lowinger, executive v-p, Copia Interactive, told PW that “we believe Copia is bigger than one hardware device.” Lowinger said that the decision to cancel the Copia devices came after “in-depth conversations” with their OEM partners—Copia had planned all along to produce its own devices as well as bundle its software on other devices. Lowinger said that Copia’s approach to hardware, “has always been agnostic. To enable our users to better appreciate the value of the Copia platform, it was our desire to power a variety of products that would be enabled by the Copia platform. Discussions over the past several months made it clear that the best way to do this is to work with hardware partners to offer their customers the Copia platform.”
While he declined to name the OEM partners, Lowinger said Copia plans to work to support the devices produced by these partners. Lowinger said Copia plans “on fully supporting the products of our brand partners to deliver a consumer experience that greatly enhances the devices that are important to them. In the near future, you will see the Copia platform available on a wide range of digital devices further promoting Copia’s concept of community.” While Copia would only say that the devices would begin appearing “in the near future” it’s probable that the devices— likely to include small handhelds on up to tablet devices—with the Copia platform loaded on them will be available by the holiday shopping season.