Kobo Developing HTML5 eReading Web App to Serve iOS Users, Broaden Reach, Strengthen Commitment to Open eReading

Move "Re-Balances the Scales" for iOS Readers Following Recent Changes Mandated by Apple

Jul 26, 2011, 12:11 ET from Kobo

TORONTO, July 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Following recent App Store policy changes imposed by Apple, Kobo, a global leader in eReading with over 4 million readers worldwide, announced today that development is underway on an HTML5 eReading web app.  With the development of the HTML5 app, Kobo will continue to provide the most optimized experience for iOS users and users on other Kobo platforms.

Kobo is dedicated to an open-platform experience and believes that consumers should have the freedom to read on any device, at anytime, anyplace in the world.  With the new HTML5 web app, Kobo remains committed to open solutions and extends eReading capabilities to a platform that can be quickly enhanced and updated with the latest eReading features and functionality.  Kobo's HTML5 app will not replace the company's existing apps, but extend its read-across-any-device strategy to reach a broader set of users and add additional value for their current customer base.

Over the past weeks, Kobo has worked with Apple to create a solution that would benefit the iOS eReading community within Apple's new App Store guidelines.  Unfortunately, Apple has mandated that Kobo, along with all eBook retailers, substantially change the eReading experience for consumers by removing in-app access to the Kobo store.

Even after modification, Kobo's hugely popular and heavily downloaded eReading iOS apps continue to offer powerful features in the new 4.5.1 version, from the Reading Life social platform to the app's industry leading reading experience. Kobo users can continue to use the Kobo app to read existing books in their library, purchase new books at www.Kobo.com using any popular web browser and shop from Kobo's selection of over 2.4 million eBooks - latest New York Times bestsellers, new releases and more.  Any books purchased on Kobo.com are automatically updated in the iPhone or iPad Kobo app.

This change does not affect Kobo's other free eReading apps, all of which retain the integrated eReading and in-app Kobo Store access.  Kobo's move to provide an HTML5 web app will offer additional convenience to consumers and deliver a rich and seamless experience to Kobo app users across platforms, including Android, RIM and HP WebOS.  

"Kobo believes in providing an open platform for users, and our HTML5 development will support the company's current app strategy to reach a broader base of users worldwide," said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo.  "HTML5 allows us to add more features and update our popular Reading Life social experience far more quickly, providing an agile method to deliver advanced enhancements to consumers without limitation."

Kobo continues to innovate, and the HTML5 app development will let Kobo users enjoy the best eReading experience worldwide, allowing consumers to read, browse, shop and share on dedicated eReaders, smartphones, tablets, netbooks, laptops and desktop computers.  Kobo's HTML5 web-based app will continue to offer the company's popular, industry-leading features to readers around the world, as well as quick and easy access to Kobo's massive eBook store of over 2.4 million titles.  Kobo expects to launch the new HTML5 web app later this year.

About Kobo, Inc.

Kobo is a global eReading service with more than 2.4 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers – one of the largest eReading catalogues in the world.  Kobo believes consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device and has attracted millions of readers from over 100 countries across the globe.  Kobo has top ranked eReading applications for iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows and MacOS, and is the eReading application of choice for leading tablet OEMs.  Kobo eReaders are also available at leading retailers including Indigo, Walmart, Best Buy, WHSmith, Angus & Robertson's and Whitcoull's.  Kobo's innovative Reading Life is an industry-first comprehensive social eReading experience – Kobo users can earn awards simply for time spent reading and encouraging others to read.  Kobo is backed by majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music Inc, Cheung Kong Holdings, and institutional investors.


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