Is there a need for a new ebook reader?
Currently we already have kindle and Onyx Boox, the former caters to Amazon fans, the later caters to sophisticated readers who are reading from multiple bookstores. So what’s the selling point of yet another eReader? Is there any niche that a new ebook reader can fill?
Before we answer this question, let’s look at the eReader in the local context. Kindle, with access to the largest bookstore on Earth–Amazon ( 9 million in catalogue as of now), and with 1 million free ebooks to read, is a bargain for English reading fans. If you can’t find a book at kindle, the chances are that you won’t be able to find it elsewhere either.
But Kindle is specific to Amazon bookstore, it won’t allow you to buy and read from other bookstores such as Kobo, or Scribd, or Readmoo, or 微信读书. For this purpose you will need a generic ebook Reader, and this is where Boox enters into the equation.
Ever a versatile eReader, Boox comes in a variety of sizes; 6 inch ( kindle size), 7.8 inch ( Nova), 10.3 inch ( Note) and 13 inch (Max) . Not only does Boox support any bookstores with Google Play presence, it also spoils you with different sizes, depending on your use case. Want something easy to carry? Pick the 6 inch; Want to read PDFs and journals for your study? 10.3 inch is the perfect model. Want something bigger so that it decorates your coffee table? 13 inch Max Pro is the way to go!
Not only that, to facilitate note taking and drawing, it also comes with a Wacom pen. It’s fair to say that Boox is not just an eReader, it’s also a note taking device. The large size of Boox is targeted towards professionals who want to read their PDF technical materials and take notes at the same time.
Kindle and Boox are conquering the both end of the reading experience spectrum: the very narrow and very generic. But we feel that there is room for yet another eReader.
Amazon’s bookstore is the largest on earth, but that doesn’t mean that there are no serious competitors. With 6 million books available for selection, Kobo is one such competitor, enter Kobo eReader.
Unlike Amazon whereby there are multiple bookstores in different regions, and shopping experience in different regions can be very different, the Kobo bookstore is unified in user experience. All you have to do, if you want to shop books from a different region, is to just change a setting at your personalized page in the kobo website. No more using different specific debit cards to buy books at different bookstores, no more using VPN to access titles from different region, no need to jump through any hoops, as far as Kobo bookstore is concerned, your Malaysia credit card is as good as credit cards from any other parts of the world. The book purchasing experience at Kobo bookstore is seamless and painless.
Amazon doesn’t always have a monopoly to the lowest price. There are some titles at Kobo that are cheaper than the same titles at Amazon. The existence of Kobo bookstores enriches the book market and gives consumers more choices. More choices==better!
What if you want to read Taiwanese books? Sadly Amazon doesn’t carry much Taiwanese books ( 繁体书), although it does carry some. Amazon chose China Mainland market over Taiwan market, which is why the choices of Taiwanese books at Kindle stores are pitiful by comparison. Kobo, on the other hand, has an active presence in Taiwan. Those who prefer to read Taiwanese books will find Kobo a good purchase.
Not only that, Kobo eReader comes with Overdrive and Libby installed. These are the apps that you can use to checkout the eBooks from your local and overseas libraries. Now you can also download the Overdrive and Libby apps from Google Play and install them at your Boox eReader, but the reading experience is subpar because these are not native apps, unlike their counterparts at Kobo eReader.
The reading experience on Kobo eReader for Kobo ebooks and library eBooks would be the best, second to none.
There are Kobo fans, just as there are Amazon fans. Amazon and Kobo are like Pepsi and Cola; both need the competition from each other to grow and to improve. Amazon hegemony is not good for the readers and the book publishing industry. It’s our desire to serve both groups of fans.