Sony is severing even more limbs following the sale of its Vaio brand. The company on Thursday announced a deal that will end Sony’s ebook store in North America, and instead point existing customers to Kobo’s ecosystem. The new deal will take effect beginning March 20, and will allow customers to transfer over their current library of content, which can be downloaded through April 30.
While the news of Sony closing its ebook business doesn’t quite resonate like the sale of the Vaio computer brand, it highlights the company’s ongoing reshuffling. Sony has said it wants to put more resources into smartphones and tablets, and this latest closure will seemingly help the company achieve that goal. At CES in January, we saw a quick glimpse at what could be the “new” Sony, with emphasis on its strongest assets, including its PlayStation and Xperia brands.
Sony said its customers should experience a seamless transition over to Kobo, which currently has a library of over 4 million ebooks, magazines and newspapers. Going forward, the free Kobo app will come pre-loaded on select Sony Xperia smartphones and tablets. While Kobo isn’t necessarily ubiquitous in the ebook market, it serves 18 million readers across the globe, which is certainly no small sum.