Competition becomes even fiercer in the e-book reader market with the launch of Kobo Touch with Offers, which carries a price tag of US$99.99, seven months after Amazon first unveiled the Kindle Touch with Special Offers.
The Kobo Touch with Offers is exactly similar to the Kobo Touch, save for the discounted price in exchange for the presence of ads in “discreet places.”
With availability currently out of stock according to their official website, Kobo has stated that the 6-inch reader will start shipping in the U.S. in two to three weeks and will be available in black only.
The company explains that the Kobo Touch with Offers resembles the Kobo Touch eReader but with exclusive deals and sponsored screens that are guaranteed not to interfere with the user’s reading experience.
Other readers in direct competition with the device include the Amazon Kindle Touch with Special Offers from Amazon and the Nook Simple Touch from Barnes & Nobles. Both are also priced at US$99.00 with e-Ink touch capability, although for US$20 less, you can get a Kindle reader without touch navigation.
The similarity in hardware specs, plus being lesser known in the U.S., could make it hard for Kobo to create a dent in the reader market. However, the acquisition of Kobo by the largest mall operator in Japan, Rakuten, for US$315 million could help boost its popularity and become a success worldwide.
Budget-friendly e-book reader tablets, anyone? What e-book reader are you dying to have?
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