Borders Group, Inc. has announced a strategic investment and commercial partnership with Kobo, Inc., a global eReading service that is the newly named spin-off of Toronto-based Indigo Books & Music Inc.'s Shortcovers digital reading initiative. Through the partnership, Borders will launch a new eBook store integrated into Borders.com and powered by Kobo.
In addition, Kobo will power a Borders-branded eBook store for multiple mobile devices. Sales through these Borders-branded eBook stores will be booked by Borders. Kobo's mobile applications are device neutral, which will enable consumers to purchase eBooks from Borders on popular smartphones such as the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre and Android, as well as other devices. Borders and Kobo plan to launch these new services within the second quarter of 2010.
Kobo's reader application works with a variety of devices including smartphones, desktops and E-Readers such as the Sony Reader. Borders Group shares Kobo's vision of providing consumers any book on any device. Other investors in Kobo include Indigo, Instant Fame, a subsidiary of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd. of Hong Kong and REDGroup Retail Pty Ltd. of Australia.