British retailer WH Smith has struck a deal with the Canadian company Kobo to bring the famous Kobo eReader to the U.K. — providing access to more than 2.2 million ebooks. Two models of the Kobo device have been launched in the U.K. market, including the Kobo Wireless eReader and the Kobo eReader Touch Edition.
With 2.2 million books, 1 million of which are completely free, the Kobo will offer British users the largest catalogue of titles in the U.K., according to Smiths, and will provide a much-needed boost to the U.K.’s adoption of ebooks.
While analysts are concerned that ebooks will have a detrimental impact on physical book sales, Kate Swann, chief executive of Smiths, sees the Kobo eReader as a “compliment” to the traditional print books business. eReaders such as the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook have been a huge success in the U.S., and this is undoubtedly encouraging for Smiths.
However, Smiths isn’t the only British retailer to adopt electronic reading devices. Waterstone’s announced last month that it also has plans to release an eReader of its own in 2012, which it promises will be “at least as good, and preferably substantially better, than that of [its] internet rival.”
The Kobo Wireless eReader and the Kobo eReader Touch Edition are already available from WH Smith’s online store, with the first priced at £89.99 (approx. $141), and the latter at £109.99 (approx. $173).
Are you pleased to hear that the Kobo eReader is finally available in the U.K.?
[via The Guardian]