E-book retailer Kobo is teaming with screen manufacturer E Ink Holdings to offer wider access to the Kobo e-book catalog. The initiative invites any e-ink device manufacturers, that use E Ink Holdings screens, to enter a revenue sharing and technology agreement that will link their devices to the Kobo e-book store.
Through the initiative, device manufacturers of dedicated e-readers that use e-ink screens (also known as e-paper), can now give their customers access to an e-book storefront. The Kobo offer is aimed at servicing devices unaffiliated with larger e-book retailers, like Bookeen’s Cybook Odyssey, the Icarus Reader and the Txtr Beagle.
Giovanni Mancini, E Ink Holdings director of product management, said the initiative requires E Ink’s hardware partners to enter a revenue sharing agreement with Kobo and “align their software” technology so their devices can register sales and wirelessly download Kobo e-books direct to the device.
Although he acknowledged there are occasional technological “hurdles" when linking differing systems, Mancini said it takes “a relatively small software adjustment” to make these new e-ink devices compatible with the Kobo platform and e-commerce system. Manicini said that Kobo has signed an agreement with device manufacturer Alacatel, which produces the Alcatel Onetouch, a smartphone with a companion e-ink device. “We are in talks with other e-ink device manufacturers,” Mancini said.
Johnson Lee, president of E Ink Holdings. “Because of Kobo’s vast digital library, our partners can save on the time and financial investment required to build an online library from the ground up. This will allow them to focus on giving their customers the best digital experience.”